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Provost candidate forums concluded today with Bill Pink discussing future of community colleges


By Jacquelyn Zeman – Managing/News Editor


Vice president of academic affairs at Oklahoma State University, Bill Pink, was the final Grand Rapids Community College provost candidate to present and answer questions from staff and faculty.

Pink started his presentation today by making some general predictions for community colleges. He then discussed how he would go about directing a school through the changing industries that students are to work in. Among his predictions, he said that he believed industries will demand more from training sources and certificates in applied science degrees will gain a greater importance.

“Now instead of just being a place where people learn skill, we give them skill, we give them leadership, we give them critical thinking,” Pink said. “We set them on a path to what a manager will look like.”

Pink said that he thought he would be a good fit for GRCC because of how similar the job of the provost is to his current position at OSU.

“Those similarities are not just (in) the title of the jobs,” Pink said. “It also deals with what we do for faculty, what we do for students, as well as administration…our focus is what is best for students. That’s what it’s got to be, from a provost’s standpoint.”

Pink addressing the GRCC community at the final forum. Photo by Kayla Tucker

Pink said that while he was touring GRCC he was impressed with the amount of student work spaces.

“I appreciate that I saw so many student centered spaces on campus, keep doing that,” Pink said. “That is where your students are going to sit. That is where they are going to rest, that is where they are going to get their collaborative work in together.”

Patti Trepkowski, interim provost said she has been impressed with all three candidates who have presented this last week.

“I think they did a good job,” Trepkowski said. “It’s going to be a hard decision…for President Ender. I’m glad that we have three good choices. I’ve enjoyed doing it on an interim basis but I’ll be glad to go back to my regular job too…(I’m) anxious to see how it all turns out.”

President Steven Ender said he plans to select GRCC’s provost sometime in the next week.

To view the forum for Pink, visit GRCCtv’s YouTube link.

Kayla Tucker, A&E/Features Editor contributed to this story.