On Jan. 10, 2024, President Jo Allen sent an email to faculty, students and staff announcing that Laura Davidson, Dean, Library Information Services, would be appointed as the interim provost starting on Jul. 1, 2024, and would take over from current Provost Matthew Poslusny. Following Davidson’s year in the position, Allen explained that the college’s new president would lead the search for a permanent provost.
Poslusny, a Professor of Chemistry, has been serving on Meredith’s executive leadership team since 2013 and is the first person to serve as senior Vice President. Poslusny has overseen the creation of several undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate programs, as well as establishing the Office of Retention and Student Success with the goal of expanding support for adult students and improving freshman retention rates, according to his Meredith Profile page.
According to President Allen’s email, Davidson has “extensive experience in serving every discipline and school at the college, managing a large budget, engaging donor support, integrating technology with library services, and overseeing a diverse staff of exceptional professionals,” which, Allen explained, can be translated into her duties as a provost. A provost, similar to a dean, acts as the leader and the face of the school. According to Maryville University, the major difference between the two roles is that a provost manages a school’s entire academic offering rather than one specific department. Allen stated that she believes “Laura is an obvious choice for the interim provost position, bringing a wealth of experience in key areas as well as the confidence of the campus in her leadership. She will continue the stability of [Meredith College’s] mission-based commitment to the highest quality educational experience for [the college’s] students.”
Current Provost Matthew Poslusny commented in an email that he has “had the pleasure of working with Dean Davidson for over ten years. She has been an invaluable resource to [Poslusny] and a key member of both the Dean’s Council and Provost's Council.”
In addition to her prior experience as the Dean of Carlyle Campbell Library, Davidson stated that she is “looking forward to getting to know [the] new president and supporting them as they get to know Meredith.” Davidson has also explained that her main goal is to “keep things running smoothly” during the upcoming presidential change. Davidson also shared that she plans to support the “continued development of a nursing program at Meredith” as well as Meredith’s “new educational opportunities” the school’s academic programs are developing.
By Lola Mestas, Copy Editor
Photo courtesy of the Marketing Department