University of Delaware
Provost Domenico Grasso takes questions at the March 24 town hall meeting in the Trabant University Center Theatre.

Town hall

Provost leads discussion on topics from admissions to 2FA


3:54 p.m., March 28, 2016--University of Delaware Provost Domenico Grasso led an open agenda town hall meeting Thursday, March 24, in the Trabant University Center Theatre.

After a brief welcome, Grasso immediately opened the floor to questions from the campus community.  

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Students, faculty and staff asked about a wide range of topics including the physics library, campus diversity, general education requirements and upcoming Faculty Senate agenda items. 

There was some discussion concerning two-factor authentication (2FA), which requires users to enter a security code in addition to a UDelNet ID and password when logging in to certain University web services. Grasso acknowledged that extra login steps might be inconvenient, but the need to keep the University's systems secure remains a top priority.  

“I have been doing two-factor authentication for over a year now, and not found it cumbersome at all. But, I think if we find that it is problematic for different groups or individuals, then we have to find ways to help them try and adapt to it,” Grasso said. “But, we have to make sure our system is secure.”  

When questions were raised concerning undergraduate admissions, Grasso invited Chris Lucier, vice president for enrollment management, to provide an overview of the admissions process to date.

Lucier noted that all applicants for fall 2016 admission have been notified of their status. He explained that the University had the luxury of being very selective this year, and projections at this point indicate the University will meet its admission goals.  

There was an inquiry concerning the role of continuing track (CT) faculty and how it might change in the future. Grasso explained, “I have said on many occasions that CT faculty are an incredibly important and powerful part of our portfolio and that we should be more intentional in how we decide to use CT faculty and how we decide to hire CT faculty. Right now it seems like all the decisions are made one at a time on an ad hoc basis. I’d like to see more intentional planning around how we’d want to see our portfolios develop in each of the colleges.” 

Grasso said a faculty member recently suggested that future town halls have a theme or topic that the community could come prepared to discuss. While participants would still be welcome to ask general questions, the meeting theme would be a focal point for the discussion.

One possible theme for a future town hall, he said, is shared governance. In response to a faculty member’s general comment on the subject, Grasso acknowledged that shared governance is important, and UD could do a better job as an institution. But, he added, “The most important aspect in the success of shared governance is shared vision -- for both the administration and the faculty to have the same idea of what constitutes success for the institution.”

Photos by Evan Krape

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