Feb 012010
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Rick Miranda, one of the three final candidates for CSU’s provost and executive vice president, said one of his favorite parts about working at CSU is witnessing and facilitating as many ‘eureka’ moments for students as he can.

He currently serves as the university’s interim-provost and executive vice president and said he is constantly learning new things from his “outstanding colleagues.”

“They make coming to work every day challenging, interesting and fun, with almost infinite variety,” he said in an e-mail interview with the Collegian.

Miranda came to CSU in 1982 and has spent the past 20 years working and living as a part of the CSU community –– some of which were spent as dean of Natural Sciences.

“There aren’t too many places where you can bike to work nearly every day of the year,” he said.

When asked about his administrative philosophies, Miranda said he believes first in working hard with “competence, efficiency and integrity.” Next, he said, it is important to “hire excellent people to work with and give them the freedom and ability to do their jobs.”

Miranda said several of his priorities fall in line with the mission of CSU as a land-grant university: keeping tuition reasonable, providing adequate financial aid and engaging in research partnerships are an integral part in doing so, he said.

Currently, Miranda has a semi-regular meeting set up with student government and hopes to continue his interaction and communication with students.

During his open forum Monday, Miranda said he is a “creature of the faculty” and said he understands their struggles during the turbulent budget cuts.

“As soon as we see the budgets restore, we need to grow the faculty,” he said.

Higher education is struggling because of what Miranda said is a combination of constitutional restraints and “an erosion” in the public’s view of higher education.

“There seems to be an increasing sentiment that higher education is more of a private good to the graduate than a public good to the community,” he said.

To fight this way of thinking, Miranda said the university community cannot only hope for budget reform resulting in more funding for higher education but also needs to work with other Colorado institutions and send Colorado voters the right message about higher education.

In an interview last month, Blanche Hughes, vice president of Student Affairs and chair of the provost search committee, said that though she and the committee provide feedback on each of the three final candidates, CSU President Tony Frank will make the final hiring decision.

When Frank was asked if having worked with Miranda for years at CSU would make it hard to review his application for the position from a neutral standpoint, in an e-mail to the Collegian Monday night Frank said, “Sure, in that any internal candidate has had a better chance to make a good impression and also to make difficult decisions that are bound to be unpopular with some aspects of the university community.”
“That’s the blessing and the curse of being an internal candidate,” he said.

If hired as the second highest-ranking university official, Miranda will oversee all academic programs, chair the Council of Deans, on which he once sat, work as a part of Frank’s cabinet and serve as a non-voting member of Faculty Council.

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 4:53 pm

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