Texas A&M announced today that Michael T. Stephenson, professor of communication, has been appointed vice provost for academic affairs and strategic initiatives.
This new vice provost position is charged with oversight of the provost’s strategic initiatives to increase student success through retention and graduation, as well as evaluate, develop and promote academic innovations to enhance retention and reach more students. Additionally, Stephenson will oversee academic policies and processes, including curricular approvals, substantive changes and policies for facility/space assignments; provide leadership for institutional data and survey research functions; lead collaborative assessment efforts across the institution including core curriculum and the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP); and monitor progress on the University’s Strategic Plan. Stephenson will continue to serve as the official liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and oversee institutional effectiveness, academic program review and accreditation processes of Texas A&M University.
Offices working with the vice provost include Institutional Effectiveness and Evaluation, Aggie Honor System Office and a new unit focused on Student Success. Stephenson will work with other appropriate units across the university to facilitate a Task Force on Student Success aimed at improving retention and graduation rates over the next few years.
Stephenson received his Ph.D. in communication from the University of Kentucky, a master of arts in speech communication from Texas A&M, and a bachelor of science in communication from Eastern New Mexico University. As a professor of communication at Texas A&M, his primary research focus is on media’s role in changing or reinforcing health behavior. He has authored or co-authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. His research has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Division of Transplantation.
Stephenson previously served as associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts from 2009-2013, associate vice provost for institutional effectiveness from 2013-2015 and associate provost for academic affairs since 2015. He will formally join Michael Benedik, vice provost and chief international officer, to advise and coordinate with Texas A&M’s provost, Carol Fierke, on administrative and strategic issues for the Division of Academic Affairs.
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