The Division of Academic Affairs provides a broad range of services to faculty and staff to promote their professional development and enhance their education.

A Message from the Provost

Dear Colleagues, 

I’m writing to update you on changes within Academic Affairs.

As you likely have heard, Linda Cabe Halpern has announced her retirement at the end of this year. Her absence will be felt across our division and the university as a whole. She has served in a progressive series of leadership roles, moving from a faculty member to the inaugural Dean of General Education, and most recently serving as both Vice Provost for University Programs and Dean of University Studies. Her careful stewardship and interdisciplinary work contributed greatly to many of our division’s initiatives, and I thank Linda for her invaluable service to JMU.

Maintaining the high quality of areas within University Programs (UP) is a critical priority, and I have carefully considered how to best position those units for continued growth. After much deliberation and discussions with key stakeholders, I have determined this is the right time and opportunity to restructure UP to ensure the success of those programs. 

I am delighted to share that Fletcher Linder has agreed to serve as the Dean of University Studies, effective July 1. Fletcher has a long history of working with the areas that will comprise University Studies, which includes Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies, CARS and support for the International Study Center that JMU operates in conjunction with Study Group. Fletcher will continue to oversee our virtual and online learning strategies and development as the Associate Provost for Online Strategy. 

This change in structure, coupled with its upcoming APR, creates an occasion to position the General Education program in new ways and infuse fresh perspectives within the GenEd community. The General Education program will move to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty, Curriculum and Policy. While this is a significant change in organizational structure, positioning General Education in close connection to curriculum development and delivery will reiterate the program’s division-wide influence and benefit its interdisciplinary nature. I’m very pleased to share that Meg Mulrooney will retain oversight of General Education. She will have a new, expanded position as Senior Associate Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Equity with responsibility for supporting DEI efforts for faculty, curriculum and policy and will also continue leading campus history efforts.

I know that reorganizations can frequently give rise to uneasiness, and I am deeply grateful to Linda, Meg and Fletcher for ensuring a transition that is as uncomplicated as possible. 



Heather Coltman 2020
Dr. Heather Coltman
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

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