Meet Provost candidate Simon Rhodes

Aisling Glocke, Managing Editor

February 25 kicked off the Provost open forums with candidate Simon J. Rhodes.

Rhodes earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Sheffield a Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry/Biological Sciences from Purdue University and Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Medicine from the University of California. In 2015 he was awarded the Dr. Joseph T. Taylor Award for Excellence in Diversity and the Purdue University College of Science Outstanding Alumni Award. Rhodes is currently the Dean of Science at Indiana University Purdue School of Science.

Photo by Aisling Glocke.

Rhodes hopes to bring his knowledge from IUPUI and apply his skillsets to UNF.

“In my college, we’ve had good success in student and faculty areas. We’ve had record graduates, record majors, record fundraising, and record research. We built a lot of new undergraduate degrees and new graduate degrees. We’ve collaborated with student affairs to build new living and learning spaces on campus. I’ve collaborated with other units around the campus to build a collaborative academic and non-academic things.”

Rhodes chose UNF because he sees a reflection of values from his current university at UNF and hopes to enhance these values as Provost.

“I’m here because I am only applying to places where I see residence for the things that are important for me,” Rhodes explained. “So I thought long and hard about what I value and I see a lot of values that are like where I’m at and I see those values here, that is a student success approach. Values of diversity, values of serving the region, serving the state, metropolitan, urban location, a partnership with the region and the city. These things are all important to me and I see those things here.”

Photo by Aisling Glocke.

If Rhodes is chosen, he hopes to help UNF by diversifying students, faculty, and staff.

“I think that as a university we should learn from all the scholars and use things that are best practices,” Rhodes said. “We have those goals to diversify our faculty. I meet with every search and screen committee and I remind them of those goals and those goals we built together and then I talk to them about best practices.”

With the recent change of combing student affairs and academic affairs under one category, Rhodes believes this new structure will best benefit UNF and the two units work best when combined.

“I think in terms of the philosophy of this structural change, I think if done right it’s holistic and it’s a good approach because we’re thinking about enrollment management from the beginning,” Rhodes explained. “We’re going to describe our values to students, we’re going to recruit them and then when they’re here we’re going to give them the best academic and non-academic student support as an integrated package with units that are working well together to ensure that those students are successful, they get all the support and resource structure they need, they are retained, they graduate and then they become proud alumni. I think those units, enrollment, management, academic affairs, student affairs naturally should be together because they have that timeline of that student success pipeline.”

Rhodes was the first candidate to have an open forum and open forums for the remainder of the week as Provost candidates will continue to visit UNF through Thursday, Feb. 28.


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