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Great Place Aug 2015

Provost Stella Garcia speakingWho do you call when someone needs to speak with your campus authority? Who will make sure that Texas State Technical College is a greater place to work at your campus? Who will help you implement statewide strategies at your campus? Who will be the face of TSTC in your community?

Say hello to your local leader—your campus Provost.

As we have moved through our single accreditation process to be one TSTC, our roles and the roles of those around us may have changed. This includes the transition from local college Presidents to campus Provosts. Under single accreditation TSTC can have only one president, one CEO, and that person is Chancellor Mike Reeser. With 11 campuses across the state it would be impossible for the Chancellor to be at each campus regularly to maintain operations, address local questions and concerns, and maintain strong relationships with our communities. These are just some of the reasons why the role of the Provost is so important.

Provosts are the on-the-ground members of the executive management team, the public face of TSTC in our local communities, and the keepers of our culture. They monitor the day-to-day operations on our campuses to insure a high level of quality and satisfaction among students and employees. They are the “first responders” to assess and stabilize any situation and address it further with statewide leads. They will strategize with statewide leads on processes and procedures, providing input and feedback while addressing local impact and resources.

Provosts will continue the charge from our Chancellor of making TSTC a greater place to work. They will be there for us when we have questions or need to be uplifted to help us through our day. Our provosts will help us with the challenges we face and the successes we celebrate. And they will share those successes with our communities, building stronger relationships as the face of TSTC with local leaders. Their leadership both internally and externally is important to the growth of TSTC.

Sounds very similar to the previous role of our presidents, doesn’t it? When asked what the difference was, Gail Lawrence, Vice Chancellor and Chief Culture Officer says, “The difference is that college Presidents ran four separate colleges with four separate budgets, operating procedures, decision making processes, and so on. Now that we have moved statewide as one TSTC under single accreditation, that’s no longer the case.” Provosts will balance their time between facilitating statewide strategies on behalf of statewide leads, maintaining campus operations, and fostering community relations.

Under the guidance of Vice Chancellor Gail Lawrence, our Provosts Bart Day (Marshall campus), Stella Garcia (Harlingen, Ingleside, and Fort Bend County campuses), Jim Rowland (North Texas campus), Eliska Smith (Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood, and Sweetwater campuses) and Rob Wolaver (Waco and Williamson County campuses), have a huge undertaking as we continue as one TSTC. They will need our support through constant communication, cooperation and dedication. And we need them to help us become a stronger and greater TSTC.

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