First provost candidate speaks on campus

Photo by Valeria Cardenas

Paul Ludden spoke and answered questions on campus Jan. 13 and 14 as the first of final four provost candidates to visit campus over the next week and a half.

If chosen as provost, he said his top priorities are engaged learning, building strong teams of administrators, continuing the Jesuit tradition with vigorous academics and community involvement and increasing student and faculty diversity across the university.

Ludden served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Southern Methodist University since 2007. He said he is interested in coming to Marquette because of its values.

“Marquette’s desire to educate the whole individual and really send our students out there with the knowledge that they need, but also the commitment to serve humanity, is very attractive to me,” Ludden said.

Ludden also said he is most interested in being a provost again because it allows him the opportunity to work with faculty, students and staff to move the university forward. Ludden also said he is interested in living in Wisconsin. He has history in the state, with a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a daughter who is a police detective in Madison, Wis.

Ludden said he believes fostering engagement between staff, students and the community as a whole should be the university’s direction, in addition to building a strong team of administrators.

“Whenever we do a search to hire people we have to hire people who are better than we are,” Ludden said. “That scares some people, but it shouldn’t. It will enrich all of our lives.”

During a question-and-answer session on Wednesday, faculty raised questions about what Ludden believes should be the provost’s role in university fundraising.

“I view my job as provost to support the initiatives of the deans,” Ludden said. “I support all the major activities of development across the university.”

Aliya Manjee, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, asked Ludden about his views on ways the classroom should connect to the Jesuit tradition of community engagement. Manjee believes that classes and programs should increase involvement and engagement with the community.

“I definitely see room for improvement,” Manjee said. “A lot of students are engaged, but there needs to be more of a connection between that and what we do in class. Community engagement needs to be more solidified with academic discourse.”

At SMU, Ludden said he experimented with various money packages as aid to encourage students to enroll there. Ludden said the key to success is experimenting, as well as including faculty and staff with different perspectives from across the university. Ludden explained his views and experiences on budgeting and resource management to the concerned staff and faculty.

“How do we achieve success with the resources we have? We must be very strategic,” Ludden said.

To access the provost videos and feedback forms, click here. Videos are restricted to on-campus and Marquette VPN users. The feedback forms are due Wednesday, Jan. 28.