Fairmont State announces interim provost for 2020-21 academic year

Fairmont State University has announced that W. Richard Stephens, Jr. has been named the interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs as the University engages in a national search for a permanent replacement. 

“With over two decades of faculty and administrative experience, Dr. Stephens brings to campus a unique skillset that suits our current needs very well,” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “He understands and embraces the mission of a comprehensive institution like Fairmont State, has created processes to strengthen communication among campus communities, and has led the creation of new academic programs at the highest level. We welcome Dr. Stephens to the Falcon Family.”

Dr. Richard Stephens, Jr. has served in higher education for over the last 25 years as a faculty member as well as in administrative positions. Most recently serving as the Provost at Catawba College in North Carolina from 2009-2013. There he implemented a new academic administrative structure and created a Deans’ Council to foster better communication throughout the college. 

Dr. Stephens also saw the installation of Banner during his time as provost and held an external review of the project as well as IT programming. The College developed a formal, on-site extension of its School of Evening and Graduate Studies with Davidson County Community College, offering programs in business and education on the campus of DCCC.  

Before that, he served as the Chief Academic Office and Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Husson University in Bangor, Maine. There he created a new administrative structure and established a new School of Graduate and Professional Studies for the purpose of seamlessly administering existing and new graduate degree programs. 

He also led the development of a new school in pharmacy, and awarding of the Pharm D degree. Pharmacy was taken through the processes of degree-granting authority, regional accreditation, and the preliminary stages of specialized accreditation

At a later date, a national search for a permanent Provost will be launched by a search committee comprised of a diverse and experienced group of administrators, faculty, staff, and students representing many areas of the University. The committee will work to identify a candidate who shares Fairmont State’s priorities for student success, diversity, transformational impact, and the pursuit of academic excellence.

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