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Stronger relationships with students, recruiting faculty among provost’s goals

Dr. William McMillen has an industrious academic year ahead with large University-wide academic initiatives and a personal commitment to become more involved in the student experience.

Dr. William McMillen, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, spoke at a recent breakfast meeting that brought together stakeholders from UT and Owens Community College to discuss how to advance seamless career pathways for students between the two institutions.

Dr. William McMillen, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, spoke at a recent breakfast meeting that brought together stakeholders from UT and Owens Community College to discuss how to advance seamless career pathways for students between the two institutions.

The provost and executive vice president for academic affairs is committed to stronger relationships with students, beginning monthly meetings with a student committee and engaging in more communications with Student Government.

Improving student retention and expanding global experiences for students are his focus for the 2011-12 academic year.

“We are putting more programs in place to help find students who need assistance and reach them early,” McMillen said. “We don’t want to just get students in the door. We want to get them out the door having accomplished their goals.”

The Center for International Studies and Programs will promote more opportunities for students to study abroad, experience other parts of America through the National Student Exchange Program, and engage with students from other countries through increased international student recruitment, McMillen said.

“It is crucial in this day and age for large universities like The University of Toledo to provide students with the opportunities to excel in an increasingly global world,” he said. “There are so many students in majors and programs of study beyond the obvious that will benefit from an international experience.”

Additional full-time faculty will be recruited as the University completes a recalibration that both focuses the education of students and increases the opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations.

McMillen’s individual goals are in addition to his promotion of important University initiatives such as updating the core curriculum, program reviews, and preparing for the Higher Learning Commission continued accreditation.

“I never felt like I was in a caretaker mode, but the learning curve is over. I’m more comfortable in this role and am ready to make decisions that will positively impact the University,” McMillen said.

He was named provost in May after a national search. He served in that role for a year on an interim basis and was previously the University’s vice president for government relations and chief of staff.

McMillen, who earned his PhD in English from Ohio University, last year published From Campus to Capitol: The Influence of Government Relations on Higher Education, which focuses on how to build successful relationships between universities and government. His novel, Sticks, was published in 2001.

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