Cruising with the Provost: Dean Hartwell – Wayne State University

[ENGINE REVVING] [MUSIC] Dean Hartwell. Hi, Provost Whitfield. How are you? How’s it going? Seat belt? No. There is one, but– [LAUGHING] I always say– I’ll trust you. I always say I’ll
win in an argument if that’s what it
really comes down to. It’s a 1971 Suburban,
and so of course, I have to ask everybody who gets
to cruise, so what were you doing in ’71? So I was three, and I was living
at Babson College campus, where my dad was a soccer coach– Oh, wow. –and my mom was
a phys ed teacher. So this is just a year and
a handful of days, huh? Yes. And how has it been so far? It’s been amazing. I really know that I
made the right choice to come to Wayne State. I’ve gotten to know the campus
and fall more and more in love with it– the social justice mission of
the university, the college itself is an amazing place– very intellectually
stimulating place. The city is amazing,
and I’ve had fun going out and learning
about the city. So it’s been just a great– I worried so much about making
the decision to come out here because it was such an
upheaval, but it’s turned out to be a great decision
for my family and for me, and I’ve really enjoyed it. What’s been your list
of the top three things that you’re hoping
to move us towards and things for the future? The top one would be
for folks to recognize how special the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences is. And I was surprised, when
I got to Wayne State, to learn about all the
exhibits in the college, and the clinics, and the
museums, and the labs, and all the physical plant things, but
also the things that connect the Liberal Arts
and Sciences that we haven’t made as prominent. So I think that’s something that
I want to draw attention to, is why the Liberal Arts
and Sciences come together the way they come together,
and how important they are for a civil society. And then the next
couple things– for students, I’m
looking at internships and undergraduate
research experiences. So we’re coming
together around that. And for faculty– working
very hard to cultivate grant writing partnerships,
but also pivoting faculty to think more about Detroit,
and looking outward, and pivoting the college to
look outward towards Detroit. And so every
department has started to think about the ways
in which they do that, because there’s so
much creativity. I hope folks are still
excited to have me here, because I think it’s my job to
keep faculty enthusiastic so that they continue
to be creative. Do you have a student story
that really has gripped you and fascinates you? Well, I think the student
speaker at graduation– she was interesting because
she was our student senator, and she came to me
to, at first, I think, complain about Wayne State– [LAUGHING] –and then to suggest that
she was really worried about getting a job, and she was
very worried about her– she hadn’t had an internship,
but she had access to me because she was a
student senator. And so I started
to talk with her– Kristian Rice is her name. And I started to talk
with her a little bit more to find out how we could
make her experience a more positive one. But then I start to realize
what a leader she had been, and what her
experience had been, and that she had gone
to community college, and that she had
also done City Year. So she had all
these experiences, and what I learned from
that experience is that she’s a quintessential Wayne
State University student that has this ability to thrive and
survive diverse educational experiences, but not without–
it’s not always easy– and so to try to help her
overcome some of the obstacles she brought to me and then
reframe them in a positive way. But I think her story
was emblematic of what it is to be at Wayne
State University student– from how far she came, and then
to graduate in public health with honors, I thought, was
an amazing thing for her. And one of the things that we’re
going to push here coming up real soon is the idea
that faculty success is student success and student
success is faculty success, that I’m sure in
Kristian’s case there were faculty who really helped
to make a difference in her. Well, thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me. This is so great. It’s so great that you
do this with all of us. This is why we love being here
and we love working with you. [LAUGHING] It’s always cool to
cruise with the provost. It is. Well, thank you very much. All right. Thanks for the opportunity. Thank you– Have a good– Have a great rest of summer. You, as well. I’ll see you soon. Yeah, I’ll see you soon. Bye-bye. Bye. [MUSIC]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *