Dr. Mark Roberts was promoted from the position of vice president and dean of academic affairs to Reinhardt University’s first provost to strengthen student experience at the university.
The provost position makes Roberts second in command at Reinhardt University, working side-by-side with President Dr. Kina S. Mallard to help strengthen experiences and enrichment. The change will allow the university to “break down the barriers between students’ academic and social experiences,” Roberts said. Dr. Mallard agreed, stating that Reinhardt’s goal in adding this position is to “bring together two areas of campus [students and teachers] that most directly affect students.” She added, “We will develop more integrated and creative learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom.”
Before this change, Roberts worked solely with faculty and staff, focusing on the effectiveness of teaching and the communication between faculty and staff members. Roberts’ stated that his previous position limited him in the ways that he could receive commentary on the functionality of the university as he had little to no extended communication with the students, but consisted solely of communication with faculty and staff. The addition of the position opens many doors for refinement and allows him to include not only professors, but student views into his consideration when looking to bring new events and curriculum to the university, he added. The addition of a student development leader that will report to Roberts will also be added to the mix.
These changes are geared at enhancing Reinhardt on an academic level. Roberts stated that improvements in technology should be on the horizon as he takes on this role and oversees the information technology department. He said that “IT services [are] critical to establishing an effective, efficient and an enriched learning community.”
As Roberts grows closer to the Reinhardt community, he will be able to convey a broader view of changes that may need to be made to improve students’ Reinhardt Experience. The addition of the position of provost was made to help improve the efficiency at Reinhardt by gaining a more inclusive view of the opinions of everyone who plays a role in the Reinhardt community.
“Organizations thrive by challenging themselves to change,” Roberts said.
Reinhardt’s challenge now is to restructure itself to include the position of provost and that through this inclusion,“Dr. Mallard believes it will allow us a broader vision, a more expansive vision of the University,” Roberts said.
This “broader vision,” while important to the existence of Reinhardt as a quality place of education, would be less powerful if it didn’t receive the support of its students. Roberts emphasized how important his duty to the scholars of the university is to him. All of his efforts are and will be directed toward improving Reinhardt for current and future students. Students are excited for the changes that will come about with the introduction of a provost.
Commuter and senior Zachary Koppes stated he “[has] never heard of a provost being a negative addition to a university. Having a position that can take on a broader view of Reinhardt’s needs and having someone with the ability to communicate and allocate effectively should be a welcome improvement to the overall welfare of the University.”
The belief that this addition will be beneficial for communication and unification among members of the university is a common one.
Freshman McKayla Parmele said she feels that “the introduction of Provost is a step forward in creating a closer community.”
Regardless of the effort it takes to continue to grow and improve Reinhardt, Dr. Roberts has made it very clear that there is nothing that is more important to him than enriching the lives of students and the material that they encounter during their years at the university.
Written by: Erin Laas.