Carol Burton named to position of vice provost for academic affairs

Carol Burton speaks at a university commencement ceremony. She will assume the title of vice provost for academic affairs at WCU beginning July 1.

Carol Burton, associate provost for undergraduate studies at Western Carolina University before accepting the role of acting provost at the beginning of last year, has been named to the position of vice provost for academic affairs, effective July 1.

Interim Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar announced the change in the structure of the Office of the Provost in a message to WCU faculty and staff Tuesday, May 7.

“When I was asked by then-University of North Carolina System President Margaret Spellings to serve as acting chancellor upon Chancellor David O. Belcher beginning medical leave effective Jan. 1, 2018, Carol willingly stepped forward and assumed additional important responsibilities during a most critical time in this university’s history,” Morrison-Shetlar said.

“Carol has served with the quiet dignity and distinction that have become her trademark throughout her 30-year career in higher education – all of it devoted to Western Carolina University, her own beloved alma mater,” she said. “Her new title of vice provost more accurately reflects the breadth and depth of her responsibilities in her role as the senior member of my team in the Division of Academic Affairs.”

Burton had been associate provost for undergraduate studies since 2007, overseeing the Mountain Heritage Center, the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, the Center for Career and Professional Development, and Liberal Studies, as well as other duties. She also led the campuswide effort to revise the university’s “2020 Vision” strategic plan in 2017-18.

“Serving as WCU’s acting provost for the past 16 months has been without a doubt the most challenging professional experience in my career; it also has been among the most rewarding and exhilarating,” said Burton, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from WCU.

“I am living proof that this university makes a difference in the lives of its graduates. As I transition to the vice provost role, I look forward to continuing to serve my alma mater and the WCU community into 2020 and beyond,” she said.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors on April 25 elected Kelli R. Brown, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Georgia College & State University, as the 12th chancellor of WCU. In an appointment that is effective July 1, Brown will succeed Belcher, who passed away in June 2018 following a two-year battle with brain cancer. Morrison-Shetlar, WCU’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, has been serving as interim chancellor.