University Provost


Lenoir-Rhyne University, a dynamic and growing, private, master’s comprehensive liberal arts institution, seeks an innovative, inspirational, strategic, and collaborative leader to serve as Provost. Reporting directly to the President, the Provost serves as the chief academic officer for the University and as chief executive officer for the institution in the President’s absence. This is a 12-month administrative position with the option for a faculty appointment at the rank of professor with tenure.


Since its founding in 1891 by four Lutheran pastors as Lenoir College, the institution has focused on providing individuals with a sound education based on Lutheran values with an emphasis on graduating students who are empowered to find their purpose in serving others so that all may flourish. The college became Lenoir-Rhyne College in 1923 in honor of Daniel E. Rhyne, a local industrialist who boosted the endowment and other assets of the institution. In 1928, the college was accepted into the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (SACSCOC) and in 2008, became Lenoir-Rhyne University (LR). In 2012, the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) in Columbia, SC merged into Lenoir-Rhyne, and the University opened The Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville. The Center for Graduate Studies of Columbia, SC opened in the spring of 2014. Today, LR operates as one university with the main campus in Hickory, NC and graduate centers in Asheville, NC and Columbia, SC.

The institution enrolls nearly 2,600 students at its three campus locations; the average class size is less than 15 students; the student/faculty ratio is 12:1; and close to 100% of the tenure-track faculty hold the terminal degree. The University offers a vibrant core curriculum representing its liberal arts tradition including expanded program offerings in the professional schools – business, education, and the health sciences. In addition, there are over 50 undergraduate majors, 30 graduate master degree and doctoral degree programs. Lenoir-Rhyne offers two undergraduate degrees: B.A. and B.S.; six graduate degrees: M.A., M.S., M.B.A., M.S.N., M.P.H., M.F.A., and DNP; and four Seminary degrees: M.A.C.M., M.Div., M.T.S., and M.A.R.L. Students may choose among 70 student clubs and organizations. The University competes in the NCAA Division II as a member of the South Atlantic Conference and sponsors over 22 intercollegiate and club teams for men and women.

The Office of the Provost is located on the University’s Hickory campus, which is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the western part of the state. Hickory is a city known for artisanship and community, and the area offers the amenities of a large city, but the charm of a small town. Money magazine has called Hickory “one of the Best Places to Live” in the US. Located in Catawba County (population 165,000), the surrounding area boasts “a natural playground for outdoor activities” including hiking, canoeing, and fishing. Hickory is an easy drive to Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Blowing Rock, NC.

In pursuit of the development of the whole person, Lenoir-Rhyne University seeks to liberate mind and spirit, clarify personal faith, foster physical wholeness, build a sense of community, and promote responsible leadership for service in the world. Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Lenoir-Rhyne promotes a foundational commitment to make the University flexible, open to change, ready to collaborate, institutionally curious, and intellectually alive. LR promotes a diverse campus open to people from all religious backgrounds and beliefs.

For additional information and to learn more about its storied history, please visit the Lenoir-Rhyne University website at


This position will report directly to the President. The Provost of Lenoir-Rhyne is a trusted and strategic partner with the President and serves on the President’s Cabinet and Senior Leadership Team. The Provost is expected to work closely with the President and other senior-level leaders to build and implement the strategic plan and to ensure effective university operations, while embracing and implementing results-oriented academic excellence in a culture of transparency, partnership, innovation, collaboration, and shared governance. The Provost is responsible for ensuring 360 communication plan is evident through various mediums including oral and written. This will provide faculty with an appropriate voice in decision-making and create transparency for the administration team.

Positions reporting to the Provost include the Deans of the six Colleges (Business and Economics, Education and Human Services, Health Sciences, Fine Arts and Communications, Natural Science and Mathematics, and Humanities and Social Sciences). In addition, other direct reports include the Assistant Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, Dean of Library Services, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment, Registrar (on academic matters), and various academic center and institute directors. Student Affairs currently reports to the Provost and plans are in discussion to reorganize with a new reporting structure.

Basic Functions

As the chief academic officer of the University, the Provost provides leadership that ensures an up-to-date curriculum through regular assessment that is consistent with the mission of the University; leads and evaluates the faculty and staff within the Office of Academic Affairs; develops short-term and long-term plans consistent with the mission of the University and with a fiscally responsible budget; represents the faculty and appropriate staff to all constituencies, including the administration, students, alumni, and the public; and promotes the University to all constituencies, both internal and external.

Specific responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Manages and supervises all undergraduate and graduate academic affairs, library science, institutional research and assessment, student success, international education, and registrar activities pertaining to academic matters for the University.
  • Manages, through the campus directors, academic operations on the Asheville and Columbia campuses (with the exception of LTSS).
  • Represents the faculty and academic programs to the University’s Board of Trustees.
  • Coordinates with faculty assembly and institutional committees to enhance communication between faculty and administration to evaluate and establish academic policies that strategically advance the University.
  • Directs the annual performance evaluation processes through the Deans for full-time faculty and academic staff.
  • Oversees the aggressive recruitment of high-quality faculty and academic staff.
  • Cultivates programs to enhance the learning experience through classroom teaching and other curricular and/or co-curricular modes.
  • Develops programs to support faculty and student scholarship.
  • Coordinates the solicitation of external funding in support of academic programs.
  • Oversees the graduate and adult education programs, with the support of the Assistant Provost and Dean of Graduate and Adult Education.
  • Promotes the importance of global awareness and cultural acceptance by enhancing and overseeing the Office of International Education.
  • Develops a campus culture that values and embraces student success and retention.
  • Generates and implements a responsible budget for Academic Affairs and develops initiatives to enhance revenue streams.
  • Develops and maintains an up-to-date Faculty Handbook.
  • Remains current on trends in higher education through conferences, meetings, and publications.


  • Record of distinguished and progressively responsible academic administrative experience in higher education.
  • Extensive experience as an academic dean or associate dean (preferably a chief academic officer) at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Distinguished record of teaching, scholarship, and service appropriate for appointment to the rank of professor with tenure.
  • Track record of academic leadership that demonstrates a commitment to innovation through exemplary teaching and enhanced student engagement.
  • Demonstrated confidence and comfort working in a vibrant and entrepreneurial culture committed to the principles of shared governance and collaborative partnerships.
  • Strong and effective written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills to support engagement with both academic and non-academic constituencies.
  • Understanding of anticipated and complex changes evolving in higher education, and the ability to pivot with action-oriented strategies.
  • Appreciation and ability to understand uniqueness of independent, liberal arts master comprehensive universities with professional schools.
  • Expertise with professional program-level accreditation processes and with institutional level regional accreditation requirements [e.g., Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) or other regional accrediting bodies].
  • Interest and ability to build partnerships and pathways with regional community college institutions.
  • Appreciation and support for LR’s commitment to equity and inclusion in all forms.
  • Terminal academic degree in a discipline represented in the University’s academic programs.


This is a 12-month position with faculty appointment as professor with tenure. Compensation will be commensurate with experience including a competitive base salary, bonus opportunity, and competitive benefits package.

To Become a Candidate

For additional information and consideration contact:
Coleman Lew Canny Bowen
6101 Carnegie Blvd., Suite 300, Charlotte, NC 28209
Shana Plott, Chief Executive Officer
Chris Shade, Consultant

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