Final provost candidate visits USF

Anthony Garro has a plan to expand research opportunities and increase access to higher education.

Garro, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Lehman College of the City University of New York, is the fourth and final candidate for the position of provost at USF to visit the campus for an interview in the last two weeks. Outlining his plans, he spoke before the Administrative and Professionals Council and the University Support Personnel Service Senate at USF in addition to speaking to the CEOs of several academic departments and the Minority Faculty and Staff Association on Tuesday.

“We have to find a way of bringing more of those students into higher education and also improving academic preparedness of those students to go into college. One of the things I would be looking to do is to increase involvement in USF faculty in that educational process,” Garro said.

Garro is interested in access to higher education because the graduating class of 2008-2009 is projected to be the largest graduating high school class in U.S. history. He said that 80 percent of that increase would be minority students.

When talking about increasing the minority student population, Garro said students have to be exposed to people from other cultures. He said this helps to give students a better understanding of dealing with cultural issues when they are out in the real world and that it also makes students more knowledgeable and prepared to deal with different situations.

In addition to increasing the minority student population, Garro also felt that it was important to increase the minority faculty population. He said minority students have to be represented and have role models on campus.

Another issue Garro discussed was improving the preparation of math and science teachers for secondary education. He sees this as a serious problem that needs immediate attention.

“One of the major challenges is how we prepare secondary education teachers. We don’t do a very good job of it. Part of that is due to the fact that the level of interaction between schools of education and divisions of education and the arts and humanities and the sciences really needs to be improved. We have to have the faculty members from these different arms of the university sitting down at the same table. If we don’t do a better job of training math and science teachers, then we are going to be in serious trouble down the road in terms of we will be importing our scientists and mathematicians and we should be growing our own,” Garro said.

Garro has academic experience in both academic health center settings and schools of liberal arts and science settings.

“I think I can help bring those two entities together because I think the research of the future is really going to involve a lot of interdisciplinary research,” Garro said.