Provost candidate discusses shared vision during first forum

February 12, 2016 | Events, News, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

The first of four finalists for the position of provost and executive vice president for academic affairs held open forums Wednesday to engage with The University of Toledo faculty, staff and students.

Dr. Christopher Keil McCord, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Northern Illinois University, spoke about the importance of creating a shared vision and turning that vision into reality during each of his forums on Main Campus and Health Science Campus.



“We face demanding challenges and exciting opportunities at this place in higher education,” he said. “We are being pressured like never before to balance our enduring values against a rapidly changing environment. We have to have a sense of vision, and we have to execute on that vision to make it matter.”

McCord said he sees the role of the provost as helping define and articulate that vision, which needs to be grounded in the University’s mission, people and environment, and then also leading the campus in bringing that vision to fruition.

McCord, who was born and raised in Ohio and served on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati, said community engagement is an essential role for a University. He also discussed his passion for shared governance, diversity and inclusion, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

He answered questions from the audience on topics that included supporting student entrepreneurship, serving nontraditional students, and using assessment data to make decisions.

Prior to joining Northern Illinois University in 2007, McCord served as associate dean for graduate affairs in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. He joined the UC faculty in 1986.

McCord has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Bowling Green State University and a PhD in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For more information about the provost search and upcoming candidate forums, visit

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