Although the provost is regarded as the second most important administrative position on a university’s campus, Sue Ott Rowlands’ typical day could be mistaken for a day in the life of a NKU college student.
A lot of coffee, weekend Netflix binges and bringing her lunch to school are just a few things she has in common with the average student.
On an ideal day Ott Rowlands said her perfect breakfast would be a cheeseburger. She would wake up at 5 a.m., listen to British Broadcasting Corporation on the radio and drink coffee with organic half and half and one packet of Truvia (that she had set up the night before).
Ott Rowlands, who is NKU’s newly appointed provost and vice president of academic affairs, said sometimes she’ll hit her alarm clock five or six times before actually getting out of bed.
But as a common theme in college, things don’t always go as planned.
“At this point my day is pretty much taken up by things that are out of my control,” Ott Rowlands said.
Just like a college student trying to juggle too many responsibilities, Ott Rowlands laughed as she said she’s “mostly behind all of the time.”
While she’s doing work in her office she likes to listen to whatever is on the radio, but she enjoys ‘folksy’ music along with music from different parts of the world.
According to Ott Rowlands, her biggest goal while working at NKU will be to work on the new strategic plan. She said the plan strives to accomplish lofty goals that are really important. She said to her, “it’s all about serving the students.”
Her passion for traveling ties in to the goal of developing NKU’s study abroad program. Ott Rowlands has traveled and taught in over 20 different countries, such as Sri Lanka, Chile, New Zealand and Germany.
While Ott Rowlands has been all around the world, she laughed when acknowledging that she hasn’t been out of her office much yet.
“That’s the problem with being an administrator,” Ott Rowlands said. “It’s hard to stay connected to the students at times, even though that’s who we’re here for, working for.”
Similar to a college student, she likes to make lunch on campus convenient and healthy. Ott Rowlands likes to bring something to eat at her desk, like chicken salad or soup.
The provost said she feels like she could make a real contribution to the team at NKU, and she likes the position she is holding because she is “at the table when decisions are made.”
“You know…people really like this place,” Ott Rowlands commented. “When everything’s said and done, it was a really good move to make.”
When she leaves the office, if she doesn’t have an event at night, Ott Rowlands likes to get home by 6:30 p.m. after picking up her dog from “puppy camp.”
Ott Rowlands doesn’t watch television, in fact she hasn’t even owned a T.V. in seven to eight years. When she moved to Cincinnati, she bought a flat screen but has yet to hook it up.
However, she said she likes to pour herself a glass of wine and read, sometimes for almost three hours a night. The provost acknowledged that this is her favorite part of the day.
Sometimes on the weekend, Ott Rowlands likes to watch Netflix on her computer. To unwind from the stress a college atmosphere can bring, she sometimes goes on “binges” where she watches entire seasons in a matter of days. Her current favorites are Homeland, Mad Men and Downton Abbey.
Although the provost has a direct hand in advancing the future of NKU, at the end of the day she still finds herself indulging in some of the normalcies of a typical NKU student.