Claire Stark staff writer
President James Conwell, who has just over a week under his belt, is already starting to feel that Rose is home. Coming to campus at 5:30 a.m. and taking walks around campus everyday, he is trying to gauge where the school is at and how it can be improved. One of the Rose Thorn staff members sat down to have a chat with Dr. Conwell along with Mary Barr, Vice President of Communications & Marketing.Rose Thorn: So what do you think of Rose so far?James Conwell: It’s an incredible place. I have been here three times before during the interview process and it’s just an amazing, cool place. I wish I knew about it sooner, it’s a true hidden gem.RT: Why do you think the school is so hidden?JC: Well, I am one of six kids and on vacation my father would turn every trip into a college visit. It drove my mother nuts, but when I called him and said I got the job, he said “Never heard of it!” This is something I really want to change.RT: Do you plan on changing lots of things?JC: Ninety percent I want to keep, such as most of the curriculum. The school turns out excellent engineers. Really, I need to continue with the strategic plan from the “Great Debate,” help students adjust to a much more global world and make the school for affordable with more scholarships.RT: What do you think about expanding resources for students to do Venture work?JC: Students need to gain the skills in college know finances and how a company works. Two of the members of the board purely do venture investment currently. If a student has an idea they wish to pursue, Rose should teach them the skill to go forward with that wish after graduationRT: This year there is a lot of concern with the size of the student body, thoughts?JC: Let’s look at both sides of the argument. America needs to stay competitive with the world; with that rose should in role 50,000 students tomorrow. The other side is how can the culture of this place, one of its strongest points, continue to exist with that kind of growth? A yearlong study has been conducted and the results will be presented at the next board meeting in a couple of weeks. This will decide the decision on size.
RT: How do you plan on making students feel that they have a say?
JC: I am trying to stay connected with the student body. I have met with various student groups such as SGA, IFC, and ROTC. I enjoy having lunch with students. Great ideas come from everywhere and students are a great asset. Plus they use everything just about every day.RT: How do you plan on being approachable?JC: Am I being approachable right now? Today I have five meetings keeping me inside, but I spend a lot of time just walking and talking to people. Just come up and talk to me. I love to hear what you have to say.RT: Is there any one thing that you want to say to the entire student body, or to phrase it another way, any last words?JC: Well, how about two things. You will see me around campus, just come up and talk to me, even if its hello. Secondly please tell me if you have an idea and we can talk about it!