volume 37, number 2
Temple UniversityFaculty Herald

From the New Provost

—Lisa Staiano-Coico

Lisa Staiano-Coico,

Temple University Provost
(Cornell University Photography)

First and foremost, thank you all very much for the warm welcome you have given to me and my family. It is a privilege to be joining your distinguished faculty and an honor to be taking on the duties of provost at Temple.  Your good wishes and your offers of help during our transition are greatly appreciated, and my family and I are excited to follow up on your tips and ideas about exploring the great city of Philadelphia (especially good Italian food!). 

Ever since my very first interactions with the university, and especially with the faculty, one thing has stood out above all else:  dedication. Every faculty member I have spoken with has shown how dedicated they are to the mission of this university, and to ensuring that every student, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or background enjoys the opportunity to earn a superior education.  That is something that also shines forth in the voices of students, who speak of your accessibility and your approachability as teachers.

  

These qualities are bedrock values, forming a foundation that supports and fosters excellence in the academic life of Temple.  I look forward to working alongside you in this enterprise.

  

To that end, I am excited about the evolution of the general education program,  dedicated itself to developing and applying basic skills, discovering and affirming knowledge, and creating a common educational experience to stimulate the intellectual level of student life.  The thematic focus on environmental sustainability, globalization and community-based learning running throughout the program brings the real world into the classroom, and furthers Temple’s mission to transform communities.

  

In addition to the richness this program brings to the undergraduate experience, it should also serve as an important catalyst for exploring and designing an innovative agenda for interdisciplinary research and scholarship across campus.  As provost, I welcome the opportunity to help identify points of contact, leverage and synergy among and between the faculty, departments and colleges.

  

Our graduate programs will also play a vital role in this endeavor because they are oftentimes the glue that can bring disciplines together.  Graduate students are still at the beginning of their journeys of discovery, so they are less bound by the conventions of their field, less bound by the preconceived notions that we all develop over time spent focused on our own research and scholarship. As a result, they have a boundless spirit for innovation, exploration and creativity. 

  

So at a time when we are looking to create new programs and embark onto new frontiers of research and scholarship, let’s provide our graduate students with an atmosphere of excitement and an environment of support.  Together with our undergraduates, they will become the herald for Temple, a reflection of this university as they continue along their paths in academia, research, medicine, law, business, public service, education and so many other fields.

  

My husband Richard and my children Jonathan and Jenny and I are all eager to explore the restaurants, music, history and neighborhoods of Philly.  And I am very excited to getting back to my roots in an urban university with incredible diversity in the student body, joining the medical school faculty in the department of surgery, and working with faculty whose expertise is renowned and whose dedication is self-evident.  

Thank you for affording me this opportunity and welcoming me into your academy, and for doing so with such generosity and warmth.  I look forward to seeing you soon and getting to work!