Sean Lane opens up the question portion of the forum after presenting more about himself and his aspirations if chosen as ESU’s next provost. Sean is currently the dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

In the search for Emporia State’s next provost, the university held a forum for students, faculty and community members Wednesday to meet candidate Sean Lane.

Lane is currently the dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He is one of four candidates being considered for the position of provost and vice president of academic affairs.

The job of the provost and vice president for academic affairs is to be the chief academic officer for ESU and its recognized academic programs, according to the university website.

“I believe my unique background is an excellent fit for the job description provided in the leadership profile,” Lane said in his letter of intent.

Lane earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University and both his master’s degree and Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Kent State University.

Lane is a “second generation college professor.” His father taught for 30 years at California State University, Fresno. He began the forum by giving more personal background on how he moved into the administrative positions.

“I grew up on campus,” Lane said. “One of my vivid experiences was being 7-years-old, taking a night class with my dad on film appreciation. And so I’m sitting there with all the students, my feet dangling over the chair.”

Lane’s main points during his presentation were focused on enrollment rates, college affordability and working with diverse teams both on and off campus.

“If we’re going to tackle the challenges that lay before you, we’re going to have to do this together, “ Lane said.

The first question in the forum came from a student. Sandy Nguyen, junior business major asked what Lane’s involvement was with first generation students.

“One of the ways that we try to work with first gen... is by breaking down some of those kinds of things which are confusing the students,” Lane said. “And to start to kind of talk through kind of ‘What does the terminology mean?’”

Nguyen plans to attend future forums for other candidates.

“I think a provost is also a person who makes a lot of major decisions for university,” Nguyen said. “So I believe that this person should be willing to ask feedback and not just working with a committee and answering questions by oneself.”

Those who attended the forum were asked to grab a card with a QR code on it that would take them to a survey to give feedback on the candidate.

The company compiling that feedback, AGB Search, provides executive search and interim search services for higher education institutions, according to their website. The firm will arrange the feedback into a summary for each of the candidates, interim provost and dean of The Teachers College, Joan Brewer, explained in a previous interview with The Bulletin.

This feedback will then be shared with both the search committee and President Ken Hush, according to Brewer. In a separate interview with The Bulletin, Brewer said that the new provost will hopefully be announced by Dec. 1.

“I’m glad that we had a strong turnout,” Brewer said. “We have a faculty forum next. I hope we have a strong turnout there as well.”

Three more forums for the next finalists will be held from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, 14 and 17 in Webb Hall. Candidate Gregg Haddock will be coming to campus for Thursday’s forum.

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