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Alfred University appoints new provost

By Maria Carbonaro


ALFRED — W. Richard Stephens, Jr., the current provost at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., will join the administrative team at Alfred University as provost and vice president for academic affairs, effective July 1.

Stephens will succeed William F. Hall, who is retiring after working for 33 years at Alfred University, where he has been provost and academic vice president for the past three years.

“We appreciate Bill Hall’s service to Alfred University and we will miss him, personally and professionally, but we are pleased to be able to fill this critical role with Rick Stephens, a seasoned chief academic officer,” Alfred President Charles M. Edmondson said in a news release.

Stephens said he accepted the offer to join Alfred University’s administration, because “Alfred is an excellent small university, well-poised for this time in higher education when nimbleness is required.”

Throughout the interview process, Stephens said he was impressed with the interest, enthusiasm, and excitement he found among the faculty, staff, and students at Alfred University, according to the university’s news release.

Stephens joined Catawba as provost in January 2009. Among his accomplishments was the strategic hiring of 25 percent of the faculty. As positions became available, Stephens said he weighed how each should be filled to best advance the college’s mission.

He created a winter term session, and expanded summer-school offerings; led the review, revision, and implementation of the general education curriculum for the liberal-arts college with just over 1,300 undergraduate students.

A native of the southern Illinois area, Stephens earned his undergraduate degree in sociology from Greenville College. He earned two graduate degrees from the University of Kansas, one in sociology and the other in philosophy.

Alfred University is a private university with state-sponsored programs in engineering and art and design, according to its website. It was founded in 1836. The university currently has about 2,000 undergraduates and almost 300 graduate students on its main campus.


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