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Q & A

Frederick: Working only ‘half days’ finally pays off

By John Trent

In late October, as the university continued with the next phase of strategic planning with the formulation of fall semester plans, President John Lilley announced that he would be recommending at the Board of Regents' meeting in December that the "interim" be removed from interim vice president and provost John Frederick's title and that the 44-year-old former chairman of the Department of Chemistry become full-time provost and executive vice president.

From a personal perspective, the perpetually good-natured Frederick notes that his duty during 2001-2002 has been easy.

Well, sort of.

"As (Special Assistant to the President for Administration and Finance) Ron Zurek is so fond of saying, we only work half days in this administration — seven in the morning until seven at night," Frederick says with a smile.

On a more serious note, however, Frederick, an award-winning instructor, gifted researcher and chairman of the university's strategic planning process over the past year, remains a firm believer in Nevada's strategic planning initiative. During a recent question-and-answer session, Frederick talked to Nevada Silver & Blue about strategic planning and his permanent appointment.

NSB: What phase are we in relative to strategic planning on campus?

Frederick: What President Lilley envisions is an ongoing process — that every year we do development, implementation, adjustment and rearrangement, if necessary. This year, we've asked the colleges and administrative units to provide in some sense a much more focused set of plans. In essence, we want them all to respond to what the university said was important last spring, and how they are going to adjust to it.

NSB: You have an excellent working relationship with President Lilley. Still, was it a bit of a surprise to you that he announced he would be putting your name forward to the regents as the institution's permanent provost?

Frederick: I've really enjoyed working with President Lilley. He's been tremendously supportive. He is one person that when he says something, you can take it to the bank. Whenever he gathers information on any subject, he gathers lots of input from lots of different places. He does listen to people — as long as you present him with reasoned, and not emotional, arguments.

I'm glad President Lilley feels strongly enough about my work that he wants me in a situation where I can contribute, and hopefully help the campus get through what is a pretty tough time for most people — this whole time when we are having to deal with change. My role is to help people get through this period, and explain why we are doing certain things. Or, if I can't explain it, then I need to re-examine it and make sure we are doing the right thing.

 

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