NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced that Dr. Greg Summers, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, has been selected by the MCLA Board of Trustees to become the institution’s 12th president. Summers will succeed Mary K. Grant, who last year left the position to become chancellor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Asheville.
Dr. Greg Summers, selected by the MCLA Board of Trustees to become the institution’s 12th president.
The Board’s recommendation that Summers become MCLA’s next president will be submitted for final approval by the Board of Higher Education (BHE), which will vote in a special meeting to be held at 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, in the BHE offices, 1 Ashburton Place, Boston.
Thursday night’s vote by the board brought the six-month long search to a successful conclusion. The appointment followed a national search facilitated by Archer~Martin Associates consulting firm, and was led by a 14-member Presidential Search Committee that reviewed a group of 59 applicants and selected 13 to interview.
Board of Trustees member, Mohan Boodram, co-chair of MCLA’s Presidential Search Committee, said, “Our search committee conducted an intensive search process and engaged in an extensive program of outreach to the campus and alumni community, as well as to colleagues and community partners. Dr. Summers will be a great fit for MCLA and I would like to thank every member of the community for their engagement in the search process. We received many thoughtful comments, and we were impressed by the interest in and commitment to the continued success of MCLA that was expressed by the individuals who reached out to us.”
Summers serves as the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, a position he has held since 2011. As UW – Stevens Point’s chief academic officer, he provides oversight for the university’s four colleges (Letters and Science, Fine Arts and Communication, Professional Studies, and Natural Resources) and a variety of related academic units, including Academic Success, Enrollment Management, International Programs, International Students and Scholars, Information Technology, Continuing Education and Outreach, Research and Sponsored Programs, and Institutional Research and Effectiveness.
Summers’ responsibilities include numerous functions related to teaching and learning, including academic planning and program review, accreditation, and assessment of student learning; professional enrichment for faculty and staff, including instructional development, pedagogical innovation, research, and grant funding; and finally, oversight of personnel issues, including those related to hiring, appointment types, and retention, tenure, and promotion.
Since becoming provost, he has played a leading role in crafting the University’s new strategic plan, “A Partnership for Thriving Communities,” a 21st century reimagining of the Wisconsin Idea that strengthens the university’s identity and value, creating a strong foundation for growth in its academic programs, community outreach, and fund raising.
Search Committee Chair Susan Gold said, “ We met many great candidates but in the end, Dr. Summers stood out as the next President of MCLA because of his passion and vision for the liberal arts, and his sharp sense of MCLA’s trajectory and opportunities.”
Summers said, “I’m both excited and humbled at the prospect of joining the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Under the leadership of former President Mary Grant, the college has become one of the nation’s top public liberal arts institutions, a reputation built on the hard work of an outstanding faculty and staff dedicated to enriching the students and the
communities they serve. I am honored by the invitation from MCLA’s Board of Trustees to join this teaching and learning community, and to explore what new things we can achieve together.”
Dr. Summers earned a Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2001, with an emphasis in environmental history. He is author of “Consuming Nature: Environmentalism in the Fox River Valley, 1850-1950” (University Press of Kansas, 2006), and is at work on a second book, tentatively entitled, “The Comforts of Nature: A Brief Natural History of the American Home” (under contract with the University of Washington’s Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books Series). Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth’s public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.