Provost Jamison talks being back in provost seat

Malyk Johnson, Assistant News Manager

In 2015, David L. Jamison was the president of the university as well as the university provost and dean of academic affairs. After Christopher B. Howard became president in February of 2016, Jamison was able to resume duties as the university provost and dean of academic affairs.

“He has really brought a lot of energy,” said Jamison. “He’s what you call an external president or an out facing president. He’s going to be getting Robert Morris’s name on the national scene, which is really something we haven’t had before. I think he’s done everything the board of trustees wanted and more.”

After being both the president and provost, Jamison has been able to see the role of provost in a different light.

“It was eight months that I was the interim president. Having been in that office for eight months, and seeing what a president sees, I now have a better sense of how to be an effective provost and serve the president and make his goals be achievable,” said Jamison.

Over the past year, President Howard has announced the construction of the Student Fitness and Recreation Center and the UPMC Event Center, although both projects have been delayed.

“They probably had a really ambitious schedule to start with,” said Jamison, in reference to the Student Fitness and Recreation Center. “They moved really quickly early on when they started, but they ran into weather issues, and I think that set them back.”

The delay in the Student Fitness and Recreation Center has also affected the demolition of the Charles L. Sewall Center and the construction of the UPMC Event Center.

“What happened to Sewall is we can’t start tearing down Sewall until that building is done because there are like nine sports that have their offices and training facilities in Sewall,” said Jamison. “Volleyball and basketball season starts not far from now, so they have to have a place to practice and volleyball needs a place to play. So, until we have that done, we couldn’t start the demolition of Sewall. And I can tell you now that on the 15th when that’s completed and we move into it that same day, we start moving things out of Sewall.”

During the year, one of the goals Jamison has set is to begin revising the core requirements at Robert Morris University.

“We are going to be doing a revision of the general education requirements, the RMU Core. We don’t want to spring that on anybody, we want to do a lot of consultation with faculty and students to think about what today’s students need,” said Jamison. “Our current Core, all the gen-ed courses you take – comm skills, math and all that- that was all created in the year 2000, so the world is a lot different in the year 2017.”

Jamison also hopes to get plans off the ground to renovate the John Jay building.

“The next thing significant building I would like to see us build is really not a brand new building, but a renovation and enhancement and an addition to John Jay for Science Engineering and Math – it is our fastest growing school. It’s now our second largest undergraduate school, it’s bigger than even SCIS,” said Jamison. “We’ve actually begun designing the new version of the building. So, part of the design for the new building is enhanced labs in engineering and science, a better home for our actuarial and math programs. And what it’ll be is if we can get the funding for it a complete renovation of John Jay. ”