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Meszaros presents views at Faculty Senate meeting

By John Ashby

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 17 - January 26, 1995

Peggy S. Meszaros, who has been selected to succeed Fred Carlisle as the university's provost, shared her thoughts with members of the Faculty Senate last week.

"I consider myself faculty. I have been a faculty member for 20 years. Seeing students, programs, and the faculty grow and develop is where I get my satisfaction," Meszaros told the senators.

She said she found it "very disheartening" to see public support eroding in a state "which for so many years has supported higher education. I'm optimistic, but these are truly tough times."

Meszaros said she will promote dialogue and an exchange of ideas at the university. "Everything we do at this university supports the mission of higher education." She said she sees a high degree of commitment to that mission in the faculty, whose work ethic she described as "being second to none."

She said the goal of the university should be to inspire and motivate students "to embrace the joy of learning. That is the best contribution we can make to students' lives."

Meszaros told the senators that she hoped they would find her "a person willing to listen. I like to have an environment of open sharing of information. I need to hear from you what you think the role of the provost should be at this university."

Asked to support the concept of scholarship even when "it doesn't bring in big bucks," Meszaros said "knowledge must be developed and shared--that is a fundamental value which we must preserve. I will fight to the death for that."

Meszaros said "our greatest dilemma is to hold on to, and build on the strong faculty base we have now, and make the situation competitive for faculty salaries. We rank pretty well overall right now, and we need to fight to keep that kind of competitive edge."

In other business, senators discussed the Faculty Rewards Project report published in fall 1993. Discussion centered on the relevance of the document, and how, or if, it should be implemented in a formal fashion by the university.