Slippery Rock University held an open interview session with Dr. C. Jack Maynard, the second SRU presidential candidate, on Friday, Feb, 3.
Dr. Maynard is currently working at Indiana State University as provost and vice president for academic affairs, along with being a professor of education.
He has served at the university since 2001, and before then worked as the Dean of Education at Michigan-Flint University.
Dr. Maynard has experience in other leadership positions at colleges and universities including Toledo and Marshall.
Throughout his time at these institutions, Dr. Maynard earned a great appreciation for the importance of accreditation and having a strong reputation nationally—which is why he decided that it wasn’t a good fit for him at Michigan-Flint.
“It just wasn’t a good fit,” Dr. Maynard said. “I was the education dean and I had visions of national accreditation and moving our programs in that direction. But they weren’t interested in that.”
He then said that he had a discussion with the school administration and decided to part ways. Dr. Maynard has been very active in accreditation issues, traveling throughout the country and to other nations helping different colleges and universities get their programs accredited.
Dr. Maynard said that SRU’s reputation is one of the biggest things that attracted him to this job.
“It’s a great place to work and a great place to be,” Dr. Maynard said. “I’ve known of Slippery Rock University for a while, as a teacher educator I’ve had the opportunity back in the 1980’s to connect with faculty and alumni from Slippery Rock. I’ve developed a great appreciation of what you do here.”
He went on to talk about how he was impressed with how SRU has evolved over the years.
He was specifically impressed with SRU’s dedication to creating a community of learners, and how committed the faculty and community were to student success.
“The things that you’re doing are the things that align themselves so much with who I am and what I value,” Dr. Maynard said.
Dr. Maynard also valued and respected SRU’s strategic enrollment plan, and how even in the face of the budget crisis that is hitting state colleges and universities, that SRU has been able to maintain a good quality of students. He stressed how great this opportunity is.
“It’s a good opportunity for the right person to move in,” Dr. Maynard said. “And I think my experiences are a great fit for this University.”
One reason Dr. Maynard believes that he’d be the best fit for the job, is the importance he’d place on gathering additional funding for the university.
“I’m very serious about university advancement,” Dr. Maynard said. “We have to rely on different forms of financial support then we already have. If students walk out of here feeling good about the place, there’s an expectation that they give back.”
He believes that, especially with all of the budget cuts, alumni support for universities are going to become more and more important as time goes on.
“We need to start building relationships with students so that when we go into their pockets later, that it’s not going to be a stranger doing that, but it’s going to be a friend,” Dr. Maynard said with a laugh.
Dr. Maynard was able to make the crowd laugh a number of times, which helped open things up for the question and answer section of the open interview session.
One of the biggest things President Smith did while at SRU, was sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment that states that the university will be climate neutral by 2037.
One of the students in the audience was very concerned with how much Dr. Maynard cared and knew about this commitment, but Dr. Maynard was ready with a response.
“Yes, I am familiar with this commitment,” Dr. Maynard said. “We actually signed it at Indiana State University as well. Every single project that we have, we have to access all of the possible implications to the environment and everything.”
“We created a sustainability task force on campus that looks at everything we do,” Dr. Maynard said. “We’ve been recycling for about 15 years now—from electronics to very simple items.”