As Case Western Reserve’s strategic plan takes shape, university leadership will have a unique perspective to draw upon: that of Tyson King-Meadows, associate dean for research and college affairs in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). King-Meadows is at Case Western Reserve for the year as an ACE (American Council on Education) fellow, one of 39 individuals from around the nation selected for the honor. He is the first ACE fellow CWRU has hosted since 2011.
The program promotes professional development for leaders in higher education by giving them an opportunity to spend a year learning at another institution. Those selected for the program can indicate the institution at which they would like to complete their fellowship based on their professional goals. Strategic planning is one of King-Meadows’s professional interests, which is in part what drew him to CWRU.
“The strategic plan is exciting. The Agora methodology and metaphor that the provost has put together to unify one Case [Western Reserve]—to have one Case [Western Reserve]—I think that’s very exciting,” he said.
King-Meadows, who arrived in August and will remain at CWRU through June, is shadowing Provost Ben Vinson III and attending meetings to absorb as much information as possible. He’s particularly interested in learning about faculty development as it relates to research and exploring social impact. He also brings his own experiences, including involvement on a strategic planning committee.
“We’ve done some really good things at UMBC over the years, but we want to advance it and Case [Western Reserve] is doing a wonderful job in that way,” said King-Meadows, who also is a political scientist who researches race and representation in Congress.
King-Meadows is intrigued by the differences and similarities between CWRU and UMBC. Both are research-focused, and King-Meadows considers Cleveland and Baltimore County comparable. Beyond that, though, much sets the two institutions apart. For example, CWRU is a private university, while UMBC is public. CWRU also has several professional schools UMBC does not, including law, medicine and nursing.
In addition to being embedded at CWRU, King-Meadows will have opportunities to learn from other institutions through site visits and discussions with his cohort.
He hopes to be able to see how higher education operates in different places, and to gain insight into how other institutions approach similar problems.
Now, get to know King-Meadows better with this week’s five questions.
1. What’s something you don’t know how to do but would like to learn?
I’d love to learn how to play the piano. I’m not musically inclined.
2. Who’s the best teacher you’ve ever had?
A gentlemen named Kenneth Chambers, an English professor at my undergraduate alma mater, North Carolina Central University. He taught us to really love language and to dissect language, to appreciate its nuances. He’s my favorite teacher.
3. Where do you most like to travel?
My favorite place is Ghana, West Africa. I really enjoy going to that country. I had a Fulbright there, and I worked at the University of Ghana teaching American politics, conducting research on African politics, democratization. I love that country. I love going there—the scenery is beautiful, the people are wonderful, the food is great.
4. If you could go back in time and tell a younger version of yourself something, what would you say?
Stop to smell the roses every now and then. Stop taking yourself so seriously and stop taking life so seriously. Life is serious, but enjoy yourself.
5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve?
I think the commitment to thinking big and to think beyond the possibilities is most exciting. From what I can gather so far, people concentrate on how are we going to do this, as opposed to what constraints [exist], so I like that.