A Message from the Provost
Dr. Michael Selmon is a professor of English and has been at Alma College since 1991. He became the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs during the 2004-05 academic year.
Selmon received a B.A. in religion and mathematics and an M.S. in mathematics from Miami University before going on to earn M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English literature from the University of Maryland. His research centers in modern drama, including publications on playwrights like Caryl Churchill and Eugene O'Neill.
Welcome to Alma. Here you have the opportunity to work side by side with faculty dedicated to undergraduate education. You learn from your fellow students as well; individuals who, like you, chose the challenges of a liberal arts curriculum.
At Alma this curriculum balances disciplinary expertise and a broader context. As you work in the field of your choice, faculty guide your efforts with a passion and rigor that encourages you to go beyond textbook examples. At times you grapple with discoveries published only weeks before, and at other times join in conversations that have continued for thousands of years. In each case, though, while your work requires a command of facts, our aim is higher. At Alma we seek to cultivate the skills and discernment prerequisite to independent work, the creative judgment you need to excel in your coming endeavors.
Yet unexpected encounters play a role at Alma as well. Because we recognize that the liberal arts must answer to future as well as present needs, our curriculum ensures frequent exposure to new subjects and perspectives. These encounters challenge you to reconsider your place in the world and to explore more completely the implications of your own beliefs. Equally important, these encounters with the unexpected help you develop strategies suited to a world where the imperative for education and growth extends far beyond the college years.
Your responsibility here is straightforward. Whether your studies take you to Alma's library, laboratories or performance halls, you need to bring to your work energy, determination and a willingness to grow. At times your efforts will not go as planned: while Alma applauds success, we do not want our students to restrict themselves to what has worked in the past. But whether an individual experiment succeeds or fails, you find here a community of scholars eager to help you find perspectives that lead to progress. We firmly believe that if you engage fully with the academic enterprise at Alma, your years here will be a time of high achievement, a time when you rethink your limits and refashion your beliefs in ways that literally will last a lifetime.
We look forward to joining you in this experience.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs,
Professor of English