We recently sat down with Timothy Chandler, the new provost of Towson University, to see how he was settling in on campus. Previously the senior associate provost at Kent State University, the administrator, author and scholar brings more than 30 years of leadership experience to his position.
Yes, I have spent many mornings walking campus—both for exercise and my own edification. It’s a lovely campus, very well kept and carefully thought out. The brick walkway I think is a wonderful touch. Living on 300-plus acres, you need some kind of wayfinding for individuals to give them some orientation.
How would you define or describe your personal academic philosophy?
I’m greatly interested in student and faculty success. Ultimately, it’s about the quality of the environment and the quality of the work, so I’m interested in trying to remove barriers to those successes and finding resources to promote that which leads to student and faculty success. Where can I leverage things that will make a difference? Where can I remove barriers that are preventing people from being all they can be?
How do your priorities meld with those of Towson’s faculty?
The quality of the faculty is terrific. Here we have fantastic people doing important, interesting, stimulating work that we should encourage because it will encourage students to do the same thing. And that’s the great joy of being a faculty member here. The students you interact with are young, vibrant, lively and challenging. They want to be here, they want to hear what you have to profess. Every day, we get to see great minds working on important issues. What a privilege!
President Loeschke wants Towson to be a national model for its student, faculty and staff leaders. What, to you, are the qualities of a great leader?
It’s not about getting out in front and charging, it’s about facilitating and making it possible to use all of the human talents and human resources available to us. I’m interested in development, in growth. And learning is essentially about growth. Whether you’re faculty, student or staff, if you keep learning you keep growing. And if you keep growing, life becomes even more interesting, challenging and stimulating.
What do you want the students, faculty and staff of Towson to know about you?
What I really wanted to do with my life was to be a professional cricketer. I finished as an undergraduate and started teaching, and during the summers I’d play the equivalent of minor league baseball just to see where I could go. It’s a bizarre thing to want to do if you live in the United States but if you come from UK it’s more common. Though I have played since I came to the United States, I was younger then and more agile!