August 7, 2013
Thank you so much for all that you are doing to prepare for the beginning of our 128th academic year. This is such an exciting time, and I want to share with you an important development that will shape our work beginning today. I am pleased to announce that Dr. Debra Boyd, Vice President for Academic Affairs, has accepted my offer to become Winthrop's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
My appointment of a provost who is also the institution's chief academic officer signifies the primacy of Winthrop's academic 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. Of course, it is also true that 80% of our students' time is spent outside of class, which means that we must continue to safeguard the seamless connection between academic and student life. 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.
From faculty member to department chair to dean and vice president, Debra has worked to build consensus, creating programs and practices that meet student needs. She has expanded high-impact practices such as faculty-student collaboration through undergraduate research, facilitated 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.
Please congratulate Debra on her new role when you have the opportunity. Thank you again for all you do for Winthrop.