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08/07/2013

Debra Boyd Adds Title of University Provost

Quick Facts

 The appointment signifies new President Jayne Marie (Jamie) Comstock’s emphasis on academics as Winthrop’s primary mission.
 With the addition of the provost title, Boyd will assume responsibility for coordinating strategic initiatives that cut across institutional divisions, and she also will serve as Comstock’s deputy.

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Debra Boyd
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Dr. Debra Boyd takes on the new title of provost this month, in addition to serving as Winthrop University’s vice president for academic affairs.

The appointment signifies new President Jayne Marie (Jamie) Comstock’s emphasis on academics as Winthrop’s primary mission. “Academic programs are the heart of the institution, and a provost will play a key leadership role in ensuring that the academic mission is the institution’s top priority,” Comstock said. “I have asked Debra to serve in this new capacity because she shares these values and has a proven record of effective leadership and collaboration with colleagues across campus.”

She noted that because students spend approximately 80% of their time outside of class, Winthrop will continue to safeguard the seamless connection between academic and student life.

Boyd, who has moved from English professor to department chair to dean of arts and sciences, has served as vice president for academic affairs since 2011. She has expanded faculty-student collaboration opportunities through undergraduate research, overseen an increase in the number and amount of external grants bringing millions of dollars to the university, and successfully advocated for $4 million of instructional and research equipment, among other achievements.

The vice president for academic affairs, Boyd provides leadership to five colleges, the library, the Graduate School, and various other academic support units. With the addition of the provost title, Boyd will assume responsibility for coordinating strategic initiatives that cut across institutional divisions, and she also will serve as Comstock’s deputy.

Boyd, who began her teaching career at Winthrop in 1984, said she welcomes the challenge. She added, “I appreciate President Comstock’s confidence in my abilities, and I look forward to serving the university in this new role.”

Boyd previously served as chair of the Department of English (1999-2003) and as director of Winthrop’s composition program (1987-1995). She also directed the Office for Effective Teaching (1998-99) and co-directed the university’s Summer Term Educational Program (STEP) in 1990.

Her faculty awards include the Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Teaching Award in 1995 and the Arts and Sciences Advising Award in 2003. She also was honored in 2006 by the Philological Association of the Carolinas for her outstanding service to the profession.

Boyd earned a bachelor’s degree in English and mathematics and her master’s degree in English literature, both from Appalachian State University. The Charlotte, N.C., native earned her doctorate in Renaissance literature from the University of South Carolina.

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