By Karen Jonas
As one of the four final candidates for the provost position,
Marten denBoer spoke to an audience of about 70 people on April
DenBoer is the associate provost for Queens College, City
University of New York, and has served in that position since 2001.
He thinks that his experience will help him succeed at Cal
DenBoer earned his master’s and Ph.D. in physics from the
University of Maryland and earned his bachelor’s in physics and
mathematics from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.Although he
is serving as associate provost, denBoer still teaches and conducts
research at Queens.
“I think it’s really important that a university be a place
where scholarship is done, not just teaching,” said denBoer. “I
think that makes the quality of the teaching better because it
provides an opportunity for students to be engaged in research,
which can be very important. And it allows you to attract better
DenBoer likes Cal Poly because of its polytechnic orientation,
as well as the focus on agriculture, because he grew up on a family
farm. He considers his current school to be a polytechnic
“Queens College likes to think of itself as a liberal arts
college, but it’s really more of a polytechnic school, where
students are going on to start their careers,” said denBoer.
“[This] is one of the reasons that I’m trying to get into Cal
A question-and-answer session followed denBoer’s presentation,
and some of the questions asked were about diversity and budget
Many of those present were concerned about Cal Poly’s current
financial situation and how denBoer could help the school.
For denBoer, Cal Poly’s budget issue situation is much like one
he has experienced in the 1990s.
“There was a change in the governor, and that governor decided
that higher education was not going to be a priority,” said
denBoer. “And so our budget was cut.”
DenBoer said the physics department had to cut a position and
some programs were cut as a result of the budget shortfall.
DenBoer thinks budget shortfalls are always going to be a
problem with public universities like Cal Poly.
“We’re public institutions, and we’re always going to be badly
funded. That’s the reality,” said denBoer.
Courtesy of www.qc.cuny.edu
Technology key for denBoer
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