Home Featured News GRCC holds forum for first of four Provost candidates

GRCC holds forum for first of four Provost candidates


By Kevin Lopez

The Grand Rapids Community College Faculty Association held a forum Wednesday, May 17 to hear provost candidate Matthew Reed give a presentation on why he should be chosen. This is the first of four forums being held to decide which candidate will take the role. 

Matthew Reed, is the academic Vice President of Brookdale Community College in New Jersey. 

In his presentation, Reed stressed the importance of acceptance, listening and trying to learn more. He described how it’s important to be accepting of all people and listen to those who may have a different viewpoint, thus allowing him to learn to be better at his job and as a person.

Reed also talked about how he values diversity, using the example of his previous job where the population of African-Americans was 6% in his city, yet his college workforce was 25% African-American.

After his presentation, Reed was asked to answer five questions posed by the audience members. 

One member of the audience asked how Reed would balance making GRCC open and accessible for students, while mitigating risk for staff.

“There’s no one answer to that… I don’t know the answer to that,” Reed said. “I don’t believe going to a police state is the answer. I don’t believe stopping and frisking everyone is the answer… I think it’s crucial that we develop ways to be as safe as possible, whether that’s drills, mental health for students or faculty members, those all help. Having said that, the larger culture of guns in America is… much larger than any one college can fix.”

Another member from the audience asked him about how he supported the people of color on his staff when he brought them into the workforce.

“We had a new faculty orientation for all the hires to make sure that everyone gets into the larger culture of the institution and we brought in folks from various different backgrounds to be a part of that,” Reed said. “It wasn’t just the new hires, it was also people already there, so they can see other people that look like themselves.”

The Collegiate was able to talk to Reed after the forum and ask him how he would like to work with Student Government.

“At my previous college, we had a student speak out every semester organized by the student government, the president and senior staff sit in a row and 30 to 50 students and they can ask any question to the people on stage,” Reed said. “No prescreening, it’s live streamed, so every semester I have to talk to students without a net and I like that because you learn a lot from that.”

More provost candidates will be presenting in the following days as Emmanuel Awuah will be presenting on May 18, Steven Erickson will be presenting on May 22, and John Fields will be presenting on May 25.

All the forums will be held at 3 p.m. in room 168 in Applied Technology Center auditorium. 

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