Texas Woman’s University just inaugurated its first new chancellor and president in 14 years -- Carine Feyten. For this week’s Friday Conversation, she talks with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, about her career journey and her plans at TWU.
Interview Highlights: Carine Feyten …
…on why a university for women is needed in 2014: “Ninety percent of our students are female, so it is predominantly for women. The university actually opened its doors to men back in the '70s and actually the president of our student body this year is a man. If you think back when the university was founded in the early 1900s, women were not your college crowd. They were not typically part of society that used to go to college. Today, 100 years later, the mission of the university is still serving women and really helping women move forward but also serving another segment of the population, your recent immigrants, the veterans, even homeless students.”
…on TWU’s nursing program and the Ebola situation: “Actually I think that’s a point of pride for us. We had 90 students for example who were at Presbyterian Hospital and very quickly with all of our partners we were able to relocate those students and provide other internships for them. One of the aspects that this really highlighted for us is how critical it is for us to be able to operate in what the U.S. military has coined the 'VUCA' world: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. And this was a very good example of how our nursing program was about to react quickly in an uncertain situation.”
…on the biggest challenges facing TWU: “Infrastructure and funding. Our institution has grown tremendously, almost 80 percent over the last 10 years. We really have outgrown a lot of our facilities and also our student body has change, we have a lot more commuter students, so if you ask our students what is your biggest issue at TWU they will say parking and then next is the student union. Because if you think about it when commuter students come to campus, they want to have a place where they can hang out and study and build relationships with others, which I think is very important. And our student union is woefully outdated.”