Sean Burke

ALMA — Sean Burke, 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 June 1, 2023.

Burke will serve as the senior academic administrator at Alma College with oversight of more than 50 undergraduate and two graduate programs of study, with more on the horizon.

“Dr. Burke’s vision of the liberal arts as an education that integrates critical thinking with experiential learning, along with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, provides a strong match for leading our academic program,” said Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “I welcome Sean to Alma and look forward to our partnership.”

Burke currently serves as associate provost of Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa. As associate provost, Burke led efforts in academic affairs; supervising the registrar and directors of Preus Library, the Center for Excellence and Learning in Teaching (CELT), the Nancy Barry Writing Center, and the directors of advising and undergraduate research.

“I’m excited to join such a welcoming community. Alma College has a compelling mission, and I’m honored to become a steward of this mission along with the Board of Trustees, President Abernathy, senior leaders, faculty, staff, and students,” Burke said. “Alma College’s approach to preparing students both to make a life and to make a living positions them well to be leaders in their chosen fields and in their communities. I especially look forward to continuing the work of creating new academic programs as Alma College prepares a new generation of students to think critically, serve generously, lead purposefully and live responsibly.”

Previously, Burke had served at Luther as associate dean and as head of the religion department. Burke has a doctoral degree in biblical studies from Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley, California, a master of divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Seminary, in Philadelphia, and a bachelor of arts degree from Concordia College, in Bronxville, New York.

As associate dean at Luther, Burke was responsible for leading the establishment of CELT, a center for teaching and learning that promotes student success by supporting faculty and staff in the reflective practice of innovative and inclusive pedagogy, and by providing a space for interdisciplinary collaboration and professional development grounded in the latest research on learning and teaching.