YSU provost candidate shares possibilities for 'learner-centric models'

Megan Wilkinson



The second of four final candidates in Youngstown State University’s provost search visited campus Wednesday, focusing on the need for universities to create what he called “learner-centric models” in higher education.

Graham Glynn, who currently serves as vice provost and executive dean for collegewide programs at Mercy College just north of New York City, introduced himself to YSU faculty, staff, administration, students and community during an open-forum session Wednesday to share his vision for the university, if he is selected as provost.

YSU is having four open-forum sessions this week to involve more people in the university’s search for a new provost. A provost is the university’s senior academic administrator.

Glynn said he had experience working at five universities, all of which were very different.

“I’ve worked at medium-sized state schools to larger research state schools to private institutions,” he said in his presentation.

He explained to guests at the open-forum that he would like to change the way people work at institutions by creating a learner-centric model, meaning there would be a larger focus on students’ needs rather than on tradition. By focusing on learners’ needs first, he said they could in the long-run have more marketable students.

Glynn said he was most impressed with YSU’s facilities on campus. He described the school as a “secret gem” that not enough people know about.

Glynn said he would “feel like [he’s] coming home” if he were to get the YSU provost position. He said he studied neuroscience at NEOMED for six years almost 20 years ago and his wife grew up in Canton.

“I consider here my academic home,” Glynn said. “It’s the area where I got my first degree in the United States. And the people in the Midwest, I just find them more wholesome with values that resonate with me.”

Chester Cooper, a YSU biology professor and chairman of the provost search committee, said about 45 to 50 people attended the sessions for Glynn. He said he noticed a lot of guests taking the form to give comments on the candidates online.

“People were taking the slips we provided on their own, which suggests to me they are and want to make comments on the search,” Cooper said. “I’m still pleased with the spectrum of people we’ve had come to these.”

All candidates for YSU provost will have open-forum sessions with the public from 9 to 9:45 a.m. and 3 to 3:45 p.m. throughout the week. Nathan Ritchey of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania will be there today, and Cheryl Torsney of the Univeristy of Texas at El Paso will be there Friday. David Starrett of Southeast Missouri State University interviewed for the position Monday.

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