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Dr. Gail Summer selected as new provost

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Dr. Gail Summer will become Augustana College’s next provost and vice president for academic affairs. She will begin her position in July.

The selection came from a broad pool of candidates from across the country, and she was one of three finalists who were interviewed on campus earlier in April. Provost candidate Dr. Michael Green withdrew from the search on Apr. 13, and the decision was made to select Dr. Summer over candidate Dr. Christopher Taylor.

Dr. Summer will replace Dr. Pareena Lawrence, who will become the president of Hollins University in Roanoke, Va., later this year. Dr. Lawrence has served Augustana since 2011.

“We look forward to having Dr. Summer join us as we continue to build on a strong student experience at Augustana,” said President of the College Steve Bahls. “I am very impressed with Dr. Summer, and am fully confident in her ability to lead our academic program.”

Among the important projects Dr. Summer will take on in her role as provost are the conversion of the college’s academic calendar from trimesters to semesters, and the continued implementation of the college’s strategic plan, Augustana 2020.

“I really am excited about coming to Augustana. I wanted to be at a place where undergraduate education drove the institution and did so with a liberal-arts foundation still being central,” Dr. Summer said. “The faculty are doing all the right things on behalf of the students.”

Dr. Summer has served as the vice president for academic affairs at Ferrum College in Virginia since 2013. Prior to her time at Ferrum, Dr. Summer served in various capacities at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C., ranging from professor of education to the dean of academic programs. Augustana and Lenoir-Rhyne are two of the 26 colleges and universities related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

She earned her B.S. from Indiana University, Bloomington; her M.Ed. from University of South Carolina, Columbia; and her Ed.D. from University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

“We were very impressed by the pool of candidates,” Dr. Kathy Jakielski, chair of the provost search committee, chair of Augustana’s faculty council and a professor of communication sciences and disorders, said. “I am confident that Dr. Summer will bring a great deal of knowledge and ability to Augustana.

Dr. Jakielski stated in an email sent out to campus last week on the discussions that lead to their decision and thanked those involved in the search for devoting their time throughout the process.
“The civility of our sometimes hard discussions was a breath of fresh air,” Dr. Jakielski wrote in the email.

Dr. Summer will remain in communication with the college as she finishes out her year at Ferrum College until she officially takes over in the summer.

Marlen Gomez

Marlen Gomez

Marlen Gomez works as the News Editor for the Augustana Observer. Committed to maintaining journalism excellence and integrity. Gomez is a junior studying MJMC and Spanish.
Marlen Gomez
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