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Interim Graduate Studies administrator makes case for full time job

David Ash, interim vice president for research and Dean of Graduate Studies, applied for the permanent position after presenting at an open forum Monday at the Charles V. Park Library Auditorium.

Ash has filled the position on an interim basis for the last year and a half.

“I’m looking for new challenges and changes,” Ash said during his presentation.

Claudia Douglass, vice provost for Academic Effectiveness, and a committee narrowed their search from nine candidates last month to Ash and Gregory Hand, who is currently the West Virginia University special assistant to the vice president for Health Sciences. Hand's forum is scheduled at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18 at the Park Library Auditorium.

Ash previously worked at the Temple University School of Medicine, classified as a Research 1 institution. CMU is a Research 2 institution.

The Master of Science and Administration is the largest graduate program on campus, Ash said. MSA generates $21 million in revenue for the university each year. However, there is a declining enrollment in online classes — including in the MSA program — which significantly impacts the university, Ash said.

“I want to continue to grow the research portfolio and boost enrollment in the graduate programs,” Ash said.

Ash’s goal for upcoming fiscal year is to reach $13.5 million. Currently, the college is $1 million ahead of where it was at last year. 

Ash said he supports and wants to increase the number of grant writing workshops. He added that he wants to continue to support faculty to travel to external workshops and get expertise on their grant proposals. Ash has made “modest” changes during his time at CMU, he said. When he started at CMU in 2005 as chemistry department chair, Ash increased the student caps for classes which helped clear the backlog of students waiting for classes.

There hasn't been a steady vice president of research and Dean of Graduate Studies since Ash started working at CMU, he said. Ash is the eighth interim vice president of research in the last eleven years. There was an interim Dean of Graduate Studies for seven or eight years in a row before he Ash took over last year, he said.

According to The Carnegie Classification there are three rankings of Doctoral Universities; R1, R2, R3. R1 is the highest level of research, R3 is the moderate level. Central Michigan University is an R2 which is a "high level of research activity." To be ranked the university has to have awarded at least 20 research or scholarship doctoral degrees. 

“It could be that administrators who have come from other institutions, if they’re coming from a Research 1 institution, they have a R1 mind set,” Ash said. “I came from a R1 institution but I’ve been here for the last 10 years as the department chair so I think I'm a little better ground and know what the expectations are.”