I want to inform you that Dr. Belinda McCarthy, provost since August 1, 2006, has announced that she is returning to a faculty position to focus on the Master of Student Affairs in Higher Education program. She will focus her time and energy helping develop that growing program. Dr. McCarthy has completed more than 25 years in higher education administration, and she is looking forward to transitioning from her administrative role effective August 1, 2011.
Appointment of interim provost
In the coming days, I will consult with faculty leadership before appointing an interim provost. I plan to make that appointment sometime in the next 30-45 days so the person can begin by August 1.
Then, we will begin a national search for a new provost as soon as possible, probably early this fall.
Changes in the president’s administrative team are a normal part of the transition progress, and it was important for Dr. McCarthy to stay on and work with me during this first year as I learned the campus culture. I have known for some time Belinda’s desire to return to the classroom when the right opportunity arose, and working with the Student Affairs in Higher Education program provides an excellent opportunity for her to use her experiences over the last three decades in the classroom.
Accomplishments as provost
I very much appreciate Dr. McCarthy’s many contributions as provost which will serve the University well for years to come.
As you know, Dr. McCarthy was hired as the first full-time provost when it was reestablished at Missouri State in 2005. She also holds the title of vice president for academic affairs and she is chancellor of the Mountain Grove campus.
She has had many accomplishments as provost. For example, she developed academic, personnel and fiscal policies and procedures as the University moved to the cost center model and implemented recommendations of the Higher Learning Commission. Under her leadership, academic programs began a period of benchmarking and external review of programs; institutional research was expanded and reoriented to support the needs of decision-makers to assess and enhance quality and efficiency.
She reorganized enrollment management services and integrated academic and student affairs initiatives to support student learning and retention, establishing a wide array of student success programs, including living learning communities and the Bear Claw, the University’s new 10,000 square foot Learning Commons.
The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning was developed, which now provides extensive pedagogical support for online and technology enhanced instruction. Working with internal and external constituencies, she has fostered the maturing of the University’s public affairs mission, with particular focus on diversity and international initiatives.
As chancellor of the Mountain Grove campus, she oversaw the renovation of student housing and historic buildings as well as the development of a bottling facility and retail site for the distribution of Mountain Grove wines. She worked closely with the Mountain Grove advisory council to make the Mountain Grove campus a resource and asset to the community of Mountain Grove.
In her new role, she will be developing curriculum and pedagogy in student affairs assessment, evaluation and research, developing and teaching online courses, and working to enhance faculty support and student services for online programs.
When you see Dr. McCarthy, I hope you will both thank her for the work she has done and congratulate her on the new faculty assignment.
James E. Cofer, Sr.