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Stetson University Names New Provost


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Dr. Elizabeth L. Paul, Stetson University provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Elizabeth L. Paul, Stetson University provost and vice president for academic affairs. Click for high-resolution image.

Stetson University has named Dr. Elizabeth L. Paul provost and vice president for academic affairs – a new position at Stetson. She will start in July 2009, the same month Dr. Wendy B. Libby will become Stetson’s ninth president.

Paul is currently vice provost and professor of psychology at The College of New Jersey, a public residential college of 6,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students. Through a comprehensive transformation of its academic programs over the last several years, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) has become nationally recognized for excellence in liberal arts and professional education. TCNJ also shares Stetson’s commitment to educating students to be leaders in their communities.

Paul will work closely with Libby, senior staff and the university’s academic leadership on strategic planning and educational policy issues at Stetson. She will play a central role in faculty recruitment, promotion, professional development and college-wide curriculum assessment programs. The new provost was selected following a national search that drew nearly 120 candidates.

“The Council of Deans, which has led Stetson’s academic program for more than a decade, and I are delighted that Dr. Beth Paul will be joining us this summer at Stetson,” Libby said. “The Stetson community looks forward to having a chief academic officer enhance the Council of Deans’ work on academic programs and planning across the university.

“Beth Paul has significant experience in strategic planning and in working with an institution that values academic quality and has a strong commitment to community-based service learning,” Libby said. “Her analytical abilities and thoughtful approach will be assets to Stetson. She will bring national attention to our academic program with her focus on excellence. She’s the right match for Stetson.”

Paul has served at The College of New Jersey since 1992, holding positions including interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, chair of the Department of Psychology and interim vice president for student life. She is also a consultant, focusing on student learning outcomes assessment, strategic planning and change management. Her academic experience includes faculty positions at The College of New Jersey and Wellesley College and as a research assistant at Harvard University.

As vice provost, Paul is responsible for a wide array of academic programs including TCNJ’s Bonner Center for Civic and Community-engaged Learning. Stetson is also affiliated with the philanthropic Bonner Foundation of Princeton, N.J. Through Stetson’s Bonner Scholars Program, 60 students work with partners in the community to perform service aimed at community transformation and social justice.

“Dr. Beth Paul is one of the most promising academic administrators with whom I have ever worked,” said Dr. Barbara Gitenstein, president of The College of New Jersey. “What she has accomplished during her years of exemplary service at TCNJ is simply extraordinary. While I will miss Beth at the college, I am very happy for her, incoming President Wendy Libby, and Stetson University. This is the perfect choice for all involved.”

Paul earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Boston University, receiving a doctorate in personality psychology in 1989. She earned a certificate in Higher Education Administration from Harvard Institute for Educational Management in 2007. She and her husband, Dr. William Ball, who is chair of the Political Science Department at The College of New Jersey, have two daughters. Ball will be teaching and continuing his community work here at Stetson.

“I have long been inspired by Stetson’s mission and core values, an inspiration that deepened throughout the search process,” she said. “I am excited by the commitment and energy that I felt as I engaged with members of the Stetson community. I am eager to work with President-elect Wendy Libby and the full Stetson community to lead Stetson in defining anew its aspirations and achieving its goals.”

More information about Stetson’s provost search is available online at www.stetson.edu/other/provostsearch/ .