Nichol discusses research at town meeting
February 9, 2007
When asked by an alumnus at a Tuesday night forum whether he would resign if the Board of Visitors reversed his Wren cross decision, College President Gene Nichol said that the BOV members are his bosses and that he looks forward to reviewing their findings.
p. The alumnus pressed him to answer more directly.
p. “[I’m] anxious to hear what [the BOV] has to say,” Nichol repeated.
p. Vice President for Student Affairs Sam Sadler moderated the forum, titled “Great & Public – The College of William & Mary,” which included a question and answer session for students, faculty and staff.
p. As Nichol began his opening remarks in the Commonwealth Auditorium of the University Center, an audience member fell out of her seat, apparently injuring herself. The meeting was moved to the Tidewater Room of the University Center because the audience member required medical attention from rescue personnel.
p. Nichol addressed questions regarding undergraduate research opportunities, including the use of “capstones,” independent and faculty-directed research projects conducted by juniors and seniors.
p. However, Nichol said that the College must still recognize quality teaching as the primary focus of the undergraduate academic experience.
p. Concerning graduate programs, Nichol said that if the professional schools and doctoral programs are kept small, they must be “world-class.”
p. “We have a remarkable commitment to teaching and we have to have a powerful and defining set of aspirations for research,” Nichol said.
p. Nichol acknowledged the need to renovate College facilities throughout campus, particularly the science departments.
p. “There are many great things about being an ancient university, the second-oldest, but having the oldest laboratories in the land is not one of them,” he said.
p. Nichol also hopes to increase the number of international students on campus.
p. “Opening our doors to students from across the globe is one of the most terrific things we can do to impact the quality of the educational experience.”