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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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Dean at Webster University interviews for provost position

Simone Cummings is one out of four candidates for the provost position and is a dean at Webster University. (Cam’ron Hardy )

The second open interview for the provost position was held in the Doudna Fine Arts Center on Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. interviewing Simone Cummings. 

Cummings is one of four candidates running for the provost position at Eastern. 

Cummings last position was at Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri, which has around 14,000 students, according to Cummings. She accepted a full-time faculty position there in 2013 and eventually worked her way up to becoming dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology in 2017. 

She is vying for the role at Eastern specifically because it is a state school and is also located in the Midwest. Additionally, she is interested in Eastern because of the diverse student body, she said. 

Students are her main concern, and she is intent on providing students with the access to education they need to flourish and have interesting educational experiences. One of her principles is to address everyone’s concerns and to bring faculty together to make sure that students are being supported and succeeding. 

Cummings wants to implement a strategic plan to ensure revenues are increased, enrollment rises and work toward better retention of students. 

Working collaboratively with student affairs is important to Cummings. She believes that a positive on-campus environment is reflected in student academics. 

Regarding resolving problematic decisions, Cummings said her strategy is to make “database decisions.” 

“That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m always going to make the decision that someone else would make looking at that data, but I want to have all the data available to make the best decision that I can possibly make. Sort of like in healthcare, we have lost leaders,” Cummings said. 

Having data, she said, allows for conversations to be had when issues do arise. 

“I think it’s important to bring people together to have discussions about issues about programmatic activities so that we all can start, or we can all operate from the same playing field,” Cummings said. 

She said that helping students in any way is one of her priorities. 

“Anything that affects students is something that I’m concerned about,” Cummings said. 

She also said that people disagreeing with her is something that she welcomes. She thinks by having people disagree with her, it allows for different perspectives and points of views. 

“I really want to hear alternative viewpoints and alternative perspectives because that’s how we make better decisions, and I think, ultimately, someone in this role is going to be making decisions for the organizations. You want someone’s who’s going to make good decisions for the organization, and who will take the perspective of the faculty and the students in mind when making those kinds of decisions,” Cummings said. 

The next provost interview will be with Brian Thomas and will take place Thursday at 10:15 a.m. in the Doudna Fine Arts Center. 


Kimberly Carroll can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]. 


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Cam’ron Hardy
Cam’ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 

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