By Katherine Matuszek
Dr. Louise Feroe, the newly appointed Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, offcially started at Manhattanville this past Monday, Nov. 27, 2017.
Dr. Feroe comes to Manhattanville with experience as a Provost and President. She has had a long career in academics, working at Mercy College, Connecticut State University System; a grant funded educational support program, consulting for searches for Presidents and Provosts, and now interim work.
“I’m more of a person that likes to look at a system and get it running right,” she said, speaking of her experience. Feroe said she is more than willing to stay at Manhattanville for more than a year because she thinks that’s what it would take to get things moving again. She finds the work in academics extremely valuable.
“I have been incredibly impressed by [Manhattanville’s] community and people’s dedication and students’ engagement in the whole education process, which is really the name of the game—that’s why we’re all here,” she said.
While many students on campus might not know exactly what a Provost does, they are integral to the functioning of the academic side of campus. The Provost is the Chief Academic Officer; this means she leads the Deans of all the Schools, Institutional Effectiveness, The Writing Center, Registrar, and the Library. The title of Provost additionally indicates that this person is the President’s “number two,” meaning that if President Geisler is not on campus, Provost Feroe would be the one in charge.
As Provost, Feroe wants to work with students to better understand their needs, as she needs to understand Manhattanville students, rather than purely demographic information. She also plans on forming a steady connection with faculty, as Provosts are often called the “Dean of Faculty.”
Feroe plans on looking at the nitty-gritty of the workings of the academics, understand how the faculty function, and get to know what she calls the “Manhattanville way” of operating. Rather than only seeing one another at faculty assemblies, Feroe invites faculty to meet with her in small groups or departments, for moments of effective and direct communication. She wants to discover what faculty are looking for and use their skills.
“There’s a real hotbed of creativity here. People are interested in doing interesting projects and I see my job as an administrator is to make the space for that to happen,” she said.
In her position and her time at Manhattanville, Feroe hopes to address normal housekeeping items, like systems of reporting and requests to find a way the tools can work for the college. She also has plans for initiatives for online hybrid courses and a better utilization of the technology we have available. She is also interested in looking at aspects of college life, like access to resources, retention, and building a connection. While there are there are no easily quantitative responses to these topics, Feroe is interested in exploring the ideas.
Overall, Dr. Feroe sees Manhattanville as a “school with tremendous potential.” She sees aspects that need to be improved with the help of all Manhattanville faculty, staff, and students, but knows that things can grow from that work, collaboration and communication with one another. Her passion and experience seem to be leading the college in a positive and confident direction.
“The wonderful thing about working at a college, and I’ve already noticed it at Manhattanville, is that everyone has a similar goal and we argue about how to get there. And that’s easy to solve,” she said.