Faculty Senate approves resolution recognizing Morrison-Shetlar’s service to university

The Western Carolina University Faculty Senate unanimously approved a resolution of appreciation for Alison Morrison-Shetlar in recognition of her service as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and for her willingness to step into the university’s top leadership role in an interim capacity for 18 months.

Alison Morrison-Shetlar

The vote came during the Faculty Senate’s meeting Wednesday, Sept. 25, and as Morrison-Shetlar prepares to leave the Office of the Provost to take a faculty role in the Department of Biology.

The resolution salutes Morrison-Shetlar for the work she has accomplished since her arrival at WCU as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs in January 2014, and for serving as acting chancellor when Chancellor David O. Belcher began taking medical leave Jan. 1, 2018. She became interim chancellor upon Belcher’s death in June 2018, and returned to her role as provost and chief academic officer with the July 1 arrival of Kelli R. Brown as WCU’s 12th chancellor.

“Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar led the university as its chief executive officer for 18 months in the implementation of the NC Promise tuition plan during a time of record enrollment and campus construction, and brought to conclusion ahead of schedule a comprehensive fundraising campaign honoring the legacy of the late Chancellor Belcher, going beyond its initial goal,” said Enrique Gomez, chair of the Faculty Senate, reading from the resolution.

“The faculty recognize Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar’s strong commitment to fostering a thriving and inclusive academic culture at WCU for both faculty and students, and continuing to extend and expand the mission committed to in WCU’s strategic vision,” Gomez said.  “The WCU Faculty Senate further recognize that Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar has demonstrated consistent dedication to the principles of shared governance and the development of institutional leadership among faculty and staff.”

A reception to recognize Morrison-Shetlar for her service as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs is set for Monday, Sept. 30. It will be held from 3 until 5 p.m. in the Star Lobby of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

A tenured professor of biology, Morrison-Shetlar will begin her teaching duties next fall after a period of research leave approved by the WCU Board of Trustees on Sept. 18.

Richard Starnes, dean of WCU’s College of Arts and Sciences since April 2013, will serve as interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs while the university conducts a national search for its next provost.