Nancy Rapoport was the first candidate finalist interviewed on USC’s Columbia campus for the position of executive vice president of academic affairs and provost on Tuesday. The interview was in the Ernest F. Holling's Special Collections Library.
Rapoport is currently the Garman Turner Gordon Professor of Law at the University of Nevada's William S. Boyd School of Law and an affiliate professor of business law and ethics at UNLV. She also served as the acting executive vice president and provost at the University of Nevada from 2015 to 2016.
The interview was set up as an open forum where the search committee first asked a question before opening it up to audience questions. People watching the forum via stream were also allowed to submit questions electronically.
The search committee first asked Rapoport "what opportunity and what challenges" she saw in the university's upcoming transition to a hybrid responsibility center management system (RCM) model.
An RCM is a form of management, like a company, that introduces a social and environmental angle toward planning and budgeting.
Rapoport said she had experience working in a pure RCM model and was familiar with the limitations.
"At the law school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, it is a pure RCM model," Rapoport said. "The thing that is bad about pure RCM is that it destroys all the incentives for collaboration."
Rapoport also mentioned how she would approach transitioning this campus to a hybrid RCM model.
"You want to start with a baseline of what's working and what's not working, " Rapoport said. "You want to start with a hardstock in about three years to say by then we will have gathered enough data to figure out whats working [and] what's not."
Regarding the most important characteristics of a good leader, Rapoport said "trust and transparency."
"When there's no trust, there's no sharing of information, there's no sharing of information, the decisions are worse," Rapoport said.
Rapoport also reflected on her experience with online learning at UNLV.
"The first thing you have to ask yourself when thinking about learning is what is best for the students," Rapoport said. "So if you're going to develop online, you have to do it in a way that actually resingnates with the students."
Rapoport brought things to a close by discussing her hot button issues: bullying and graduating on time.
"Bullying is something that I'm intolerant about," Rapoport said. "The other, obviously the hot button issue is can we graduate our students on time."
She finished by addressing what she called the "elephant in the room."
"I want this job," Rapoport said. "But more than I want this job, you've got three very different provost candidates, and I want you to get the right provost for you."