Dean named WCU’s interim provost

Linda Seestedt-Stanford, founding dean of Western Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Sciences, will serve as interim provost upon the departure of Kyle Carter, who will become chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke on July 1.

In announcing the appointment Monday, April 12, WCU Chancellor John W. Bardo called Seestedt-Stanford a “seasoned academic administrator who brings broad strengths and experience to the position of provost.”

Carter, who has served as WCU provost since 2004, was named chancellor at UNC Pembroke by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors on Friday, April 9. Seestedt-Stanford will serve as interim provost at WCU until a national search for a permanent provost is completed.

“During her tenure, she has shown that she can improve academic quality, hire high quality faculty, and effectively use resources to further the teaching, service and scholarship missions of the diverse faculties in her college,” Bardo said. “As has been shown by her evaluations, she is highly respected by faculty and the other deans with whom she has worked on campus. Similarly, she has an excellent reputation in the broader Western North Carolina region and she also has great respect and support from all members of the university Executive Council.”

Linda Seestedt-Stanford

Linda Seestedt-Stanford

Seestedt-Stanford came to Western Carolina in July 2007 from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions at Central Michigan University, where she served as assistant dean. She is the first dean of WCU’s new College of Health and Human Sciences, formed as part of a major reorganization of the university’s academic structure.

“I am fully committed to supporting our faculty, staff and students during this interim period and thank Chancellor Bardo and the Executive Council for their confidence in me,” she said.  “In the three years I have been here, I have seen tremendous change and a real ‘can-do’ spirit on the part of faculty that has brought with it creativity and innovation. I have experienced the quality and energy of our students and the commitment of our faculty to supporting them to be the best they can be. There is a positive momentum in place and I promise to keep that rolling.”

She also pledged to keep moving forward on a $46 million, 160,000-square-foot building that will become home to the College of Health and Human Sciences. Seestedt-Stanford has played a key leadership role in the planning, design and development of the building, the first facility to be constructed on 344 acres across N.C. Highway 107 from the main campus that were acquired in 2004 as part of the university’s Millennial Initiative.

“The majority of my direct involvement in the new building went into the design phase,” she said. “Now that construction is well under way, I no longer need to be involved in the new building on a day-to-day basis. I will, however, be fully involved in the project and will remain a part of all other major college initiatives.”

During her time as assistant dean for the College of Health Professions at Central, Seestedt-Stanford served as acting dean of the college during the summer of 2002. She was director of audiology clinical instruction and services in the department of communication disorders at CMU from 1977 until 1998.

While a member of the faculty at Central Michigan, Seestedt-Stanford also worked for more than 20 years in private health care practice in Mount Pleasant, Mich. She previously held an appointment as a health professional affiliate at Central Michigan Community Hospital, and developed and coordinated a program providing audiological assessment and intervention to deaf and hard-of-hearing infants and children in central and northern Michigan.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication disorders in 1973 and her master’s degree in audiology in 1974, both from Central Michigan, and her doctorate in higher, adult and lifelong education from Michigan State University in 2006.