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Dougherty Named Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs

“I look forward to working with President Abernathy and the entire faculty, staff and administration in furthering Alma College’s mission.” — Kathleen Dougherty 

Kathleen Poorman Dougherty, an academic leader with 16 years of teaching and administrative experience, has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Alma College, effective July 1.

She will replace Michael Selmon, who has announced his retirement as provost effective at the end of the 2017-18 academic year. Selmon, who has been a member of the Alma College English faculty since 1991 and provost for the past 15 years, will return to full-time teaching.

Dougherty will serve as the senior academic administrator at Alma College with oversight of more than 50 programs of study.

“Dr. Dougherty’s higher education experience as an advocate for the liberal arts, a champion for academic excellence and a leader who collaborates with faculty in advancing innovative learning experiences provides a strong match for leading our academic program,” says Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “I welcome Kathleen and look forward to our partnership.”

Dougherty currently serves as dean of the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. As dean, her responsibilities include supporting the faculty, department chairs and program directors in eight academic departments and two graduate programs. She also has served as director of the Caroline Scholars Program, which provides full scholarships to high achieving students who demonstrate a commitment to social justice.

Previously, she served as a faculty member and department chair at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore, with responsibilities for teaching a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy. She also has held full-time faculty positions at Bowie State University and George Washington University.

“I am honored to be selected as the next provost and vice president for academic affairs at Alma College,” says Dougherty. “I look forward to working with President Abernathy and the entire faculty, staff and administration in furthering Alma College’s mission of preparing graduates who ‘think critically, serve generously, lead purposefully and live responsibly.’

“I am truly impressed by the outstanding educational experience that Alma provides, grounded in the liberal arts and strengthened by opportunities for experiential learning, service learning and study abroad,” she says. “During my campus visit, Alma’s positive trajectory and its hospitable and vibrant campus environment were readily apparent. I’m thrilled to be joining such a dedicated campus community as well as the broader Alma community.”

Dougherty has doctoral and master’s degrees in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Olaf College.

Her academic specialty focuses on contemporary virtue ethics and the development of moral character. In recent years, her scholarly interests have expanded to include the study of trends and themes in higher education. In 2016-17, she was selected for the Council of Independent College’s Senior Leadership Academy — a program designed to prepare administrators for senior executive positions.

Story published on March 13, 2018