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Olivet College Appoints Paul Burkhardt, Ph.D., as Provost

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Paul Burkhardt, Ph.D., has been appointed Olivet College Provost, effective July 1, 2022.

Olivet College President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D., is pleased to announce that Paul Burkhardt, Ph.D., has been appointed provost after a nationwide search. Burkhardt will begin his new role on July 1, 2022.

Burkhardt joins Olivet College from Prescott College, where he most recently served as executive vice president and provost. He succeeds Maria Davis, Ph.D., who is stepping down after 11 years to return to a full-time professor role in the Olivet College Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Olivet College President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D., said, “The provost search was one of the most consequential we’ve conducted in my tenure at Olivet College. We have a clear sense of ourselves and a strong and bold vision for the future. The provost is central in helping us to achieve our vision for 2030 while also being committed to remaining firmly Olivet. I believe Dr. Burkhardt’s expertise and background will provide us with a tremendous opportunity to do just that.”

“Dr. Burkhardt has impressive experience in program innovation and community connection. This, coupled with his history of being a dedicated, collaborative leader and champion for social justice, makes him a great fit for Olivet College,” said Assistant Professor Meredith Dodson, co-chair of the provost search committee and chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities.

Burkhardt received his doctoral degree in comparative cultural and literary studies from the University of Arizona. His undergraduate training is in English and American literature (major) and physics and astronomy (teaching minors). His graduate training is in comparative literature and literary theory.

As executive vice president and provost at Prescott College, Burkhardt provided unified leadership for all academic programs and student-facing operations, supported strategic initiatives including transformational partnerships, and supervised deans and directors of instruction, student services, academic and institutional support. He also coordinated the senior leadership team’s strategic planning and collaborations across functional areas.

As Olivet College provost, Burkhardt will develop a clear vision and lead a cohesive team across the academic affairs and student engagement units, emphasizing academic program innovation and quality and student success in undergraduate, graduate, adult professional, and alternative credential programs. He will also serve as the senior liaison for academic and student engagement matters to internal and external constituencies. Burkhardt will also have a faculty appointment.

“When I learned that Olivet College was the first institution in Michigan to welcome all students regardless of race, gender, or ability to pay, I was intrigued,” said Burkhardt. “Now that I have had the opportunity to meet Olivet’s students, staff and faculty, I am deeply impressed with their highly engaging, relationship-based approach to all aspects of the student experience. I am very excited to join the Olivet College community.”

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