Dr. Carolyn Perry of Jefferson City, MO has been selected as the new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Westminster College.
Perry assumed this role in an interim position in January 2008 when Dr. George B. Forsythe vacated the position to become President.
“We have so much to offer at Westminster—so much potential for change, growth, and great success,” says Dr. Perry. “And I don’t want to miss the opportunity to help us get there. The wealth of opportunities I have found at Westminster have prepared me well for this position. What a great privilege it will be to be a part of leading this faculty at such an exciting time in its history.”
Her appointment is the result of a six-month search with qualified candidates under consideration from both on and off campus.
The search committee included: Dr. Mike Amspoker, committee chair and Biology Department; Dr. Bob Cowles, Education Department; Janet Denton, Executive Assistant to the Vice President and Dean of Faculty; Phyllis Masek, Registrar; Professor Ed Mirielli, Mathematics Department; Dr. Chris Saunders, Mathematics Department; Dr. Linda Webster, Associate Dean of Faculty; and Professor Wayne Zade, English Department.
“On the search committee’s recommendation, I have met with Dr. Perry and I am glad to announce she has accepted the position,” says Dr. George B. Forsythe, President of Westminster. “She has served with distinction in this position during the interim. Her passion for our integrated approach to liberal education and her commitment to developing leaders in a global community will be vital as the College moves forward in the years to come. I am confident she will continue to be a strong advocate for our academic program, faculty and students.”
Perry first came to Westminster College in 1991 to teach English and develop the Writing-Across-The Curriculum program. She has taught a variety of courses, including a British literature survey, introduction to linguistics and upper level courses on Victorian literature, modern literature, colonial and postcolonial literature, southern women’s literature, and autobiography. She also has taught regularly in the Westminster Seminar Program.
In addition to her teaching load, she has served as department chair, sponsor for Sigma Tau Delta (English honorary society) and supporter of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. She has hosted international students and has been an advocate for the study aboard program, participating in a faculty exchange to University of Winchester in Winchester, England in 2007.
She has won the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Alpha Chi Teacher of the Year and the Westminster Parents Association Teacher of the Year.
Administrative roles over the years include serving as Chair of the Department of English, Chair of the Humanities Division and writer of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Accreditation Report. As Interim Dean, Perry played a major role in initiating the Undergraduate Scholars Forum on campus last year. This forum brings the entire Westminster educational community together one day annually to attend sessions showcasing academic achievements and research on campus through a wide range of presentations.
Perry has edited three books: The Dolphin Reader, Southern Women’s Writing, Colonial to Contemporary and The History of Southern Women’s Literature. She has also written articles and presented papers on 20th century British literature, southern literature and autobiographical theory.
Perry and her husband Greg have three daughters: Jessica, Emily and Erin.