Provost candidate Rosati says Southeast financially "much stronger" than other institutions

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dr. Ronald Rosati said tough financial times are ahead for Southeast Missouri State University but the situation is worse across the country.

"Financially, this institution is much stronger than many others," he said during a Friday afternoon discussion with about 20 faculty and staff.

Rosati is the last of three candidates to interview for the university's provost position.

Southeast conducted a nationwide search to find a replacement for Dr. Jane Stephens, who announced her retirement in May. She held the position for 10 years. A provost is an administrator who acts as a faculty liaison on issues such as academic programs and budgeting.

Rosati is the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Alfred State College in Alfred, N.Y. He previously held administrative positions at Illinois State University and the Kingsville campus of Texas A&M.

In keeping with the main theme of other candidate discussions with faculty and staff, Rosati addressed how he would confront budget issues.

The budget situation has been grim since he started at Alfred State College in 2006, he said.

"We've been facing budget cuts every year since I was there," he said.

While making few program cuts, he said he redirected $165,000 to fund other new programs. He said he does not believe core academics will be affected as much by budget cuts. Supporting academics, including the honors programs, should be a priority.

"Even in tough, troubled times we want to support it," he said in response to a faculty question.

Rosati said he supported expanding research and graduate studies, a viewpoint shared by the other candidates. He said the university is in a good position to increase programming in those areas.

"I think it's good for everyone all the way around," he said.

He also cited experience in development, fundraising and program creation. He said he organized fundraising campaigns that raised $20 million at Texas A&M and Alfred State College. One of the keys to raising funds is involving faculty and staff at all levels.

"You need to bring the people with the expertise to the people with the money," he said.

Dr. Kathleen Rountree, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ithaca College, and Dr. Thomas Erekson, dean of the College of Business and Technology at Western Illinois University, came to campus earlier in the week.

Following input from faculty, staff and students, Southeast regents will consider a recommendation for the position during their Dec. 17 meeting.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

One University Plaza Cape Girardeau, MO

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