Psychology dept. head examined for VP job
Eric M. Jukelevics
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Lynn Nadel, a candidate vying for the vice president for research and graduate studies, spoke yesterday in the Rincon Room at the Memorial Student Union. Nadel emphasized the importance or research and interdisciplinary programs.
Putting fresh ideas ahead of tradition within UA departments benefits the university, the final candidate vying for the vice president for research and graduate studies spot said yesterday.
"In this university, innovation has frequently taken precedence over tradition," Lynn Nadel, psychology department head, told about 75 people in the Memorial Student Union Rincon Room. "I believe the traditional departments have to be nurtured, but we have benefited in this institution from not being so traditional."
Nadel is competing with two other University of Arizona administrators to replace Michael Cusanovich, who resigned from the vice president position. Cusanovich will step down in December.
Nadel, who joined the UA in 1985 as a psychology professor, said his work has influenced different campus departments.
"What I've been engaged in, the research that I do, has always cut across interdisciplinary lines," he said. "I'm firmly committed to interdisciplinary activities."
Nadel had many of the same ideas as Thomas Hixon, the UA graduate college dean who made his presentation Wednesday. Both can-didates emphasized the importance of men-toring, advising and research integrity issues.
"I'm concerned that not all our graduate students are getting proper training in ethics and integrity," Nadel said.
Some people outside the university forget the UA is a research university, Nadel said.
"People are concerned that the university is losing its edge," he said. "I believe that the person who take this job will have to reconvince people that this is a research university."
The UA is a "preeminent" research university, Nadel said, and asked the audience to consider if it will stay that way.
"The environment for research in this coun-try is not as forgiving as 15-20 years ago," he said. "We have to take advantage of the better things that are on the doorstep right now."
During a question and answer session, Victor Baker, a regents professor and head of the UA hydrology department, asked Nadel about facilitating research inside and outside the university.
Nadel returned to the problem he sees with the community's opinion of the UA.
"I believe I've managed to convey a 'take risks, do something different' type of attitude," Nadel said. "I have a sense that I did. I don't know what it's going to take to reconvince those who lost faith, but I hope I would be able to change some minds."
Michael Gottfredson, the UA's vice president for undergraduate education, said the three candidates will endure several more interviews before Provost Paul Sypherd decides.
"We will be collecting feedback," Gottfredson said.
He said a decision will be made by the end of the semester.
David J. Cieslak can be reached via e-mail at David.J.Cieslak@wildcat.arizona.edu.