Andrew Grosovsky University of Massachusetts Dean of Science and Mathematics is the second provost candidate to hold a forum at Cal Poly. "I am deeply committed to student success. The provost should take a big role in assisting students (to) succeed," Grosovsky said. David Yriarte-Mustang Daily

The Cal Poly Consultative Search Committee held the second provost candidate forum Friday morning. There, Andrew Grosovsky, University of Massachusetts Dean of Science and Mathematics, addressed the issue of diversity on campus, as well as the lesser-known topic of “male student success.”

“I’ve already had a rich opportunity to meet Cal Poly students, staff and faculty,” Grosovsky said at the forum. “I’ve been immediately impressed by one commonality: that everybody expresses dedication and affection for this remarkable campus.”

Grosovsky spoke highly of the campus, and his desire to be part of student life and assist with student success. While this might have appealed to attendees, some faculty members, such as graphic communications department chair Harvey Levenson, wanted to know how Grosovsky plans to improve diversity on and off campus.

Levenson said Grosovsky has amazing experience in dealing with diversity, but wanted to know what plans the provost candidate had to increase diversity not only on campus but in the community as well.

According to Levenson, increasing diversity “would simply make for a more intellectually stimulating cosmopolitan university community, as opposed to a relatively provincial one.”

Grosovsky responded by suggesting Cal Poly encourage diverse points of views by gaining exposure to people of varying experiences, appealing to unrepresented students and enhancing their success in college.

“I am deeply committed to student success,” Grosovsky said. “The provost should take a big role in assisting students (to) succeed.”

Male student success was another topic discussed during the questioning period. Jim LoCascio, associate professor in mechanical engineering, brought this issue to the forum’s attention.

LoCascio said male-failure and drop out rates are at an all-time high. Grosovsky said he knew of this issue, and has himself noticed that males are showing up to class less each year.

“This is a growing problem and needs to be more recognized,” LoCascio said. “It’s been my little mission as a state-wide senator to go to Long Beach and be a champion for this male problem I see everywhere. I was glad that (Grosovsky) was aware of that.”

Grosovsky said this issue could bring problems in the future due to a lack of different perspectives from males in the classroom. He also ties this to his diversity claims, and said if both male retention rates and diversity were increased on Cal Poly’s campus, students would see benefits.

The final two upcoming forums will be held in the Advanced Technology Lab building this upcoming week — the first on Oct. 4, introducing Brenda Case Scheer, University of Utah Dean of Architecture and Planning, and on Oct. 7 when University of Wisconsin, La Crosse provost and vice president for academic affairs Kathleen Finken will visit campus.

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1 Comment

  1. It’s interesting and ironic that Professor Levenson is so zealous about diversity when the department he chairs has become much less so during his watch.

    In Graphic Communications and its sister program in Applied Art and Design, the number of male students has fallen dramatically. Perhaps the provost candidate should have asked Dr. Levenson what he’s doing to reverse this appalling trend.

    What’s more, if increased diversity “would simply make for a more intellectually stimulating cosmopolitan university community, as opposed to a relatively provincial one” as Levenson postulates, should people conclude based on the diversity numbers he has achieved in his department that he has created a less stimulating environment for students?

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