BSC Office of Communications

News from the Hilltop

December 11, 2008

Dr. Mark Schantz is new provost at Birmingham-Southern College

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Dr. Mark S. Schantz, associate provost for engaged learning, director of the Odyssey Program, and professor of history at Hendrix College, is the new provost at Birmingham-Southern College. He will assume his new position July 1, 2009.

BSC President Dr. David Pollick announced the appointment of Schantz today following a national search.

The BSC provost reports directly to the college president and is the chief academic officer with broad responsibilities for the full range of the college's academic programs and support services.

“After a national search that brought to us outstanding candidates from some of the nation's best institutions of higher learning, Dr. Mark Schantz was the overwhelming choice to lead our academic program,” said Pollick. “These are exciting times at Birmingham-Southern as we continue to grow in size and stature, and we look forward to the experience, enthusiasm, and leadership that Mark will bring to these efforts as chief academic officer.”

Schantz has directed the Odyssey Program at Hendrix since its inception in 2005. A component of the curriculum at Hendrix, Odyssey is a pioneering effort that focuses on engaged learning by encouraging students to embark on educational adventures that are personalized to their own interests and abilities.

He joined the Hendrix faculty in 1991 as an assistant professor and also has served as chair of both the Department of History and the Social Science Area.

The Washington, D.C., native received his bachelor's degree Phi Beta Kappa from George Washington University, his master's from Yale University, and his doctorate from Emory University. He completed the Management Development Program in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University in summer 2007.

Schantz has published and lectured extensively on American history and is the author of two books: “Piety in Providence: Class Dimensions of Religious Experience in Antebellum Rhode Island” and “Awaiting the Heavenly Country: The Civil War and America's Culture of Death,” which was published this year and reviewed by “The New Yorker” and the “New York Review of Books.”

He replaces Dr. Kathleen Murray, who accepted a similar position at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., prior to the current academic year. Dr. Wayne Shew, associate provost and Ada Rittenhouse Snavely Professor of Biology, is serving as acting provost at Birmingham-Southern.

Much like Birmingham-Southern, Hendrix College, located in Conway, Ark., is a selective residential, private liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Birmingham-Southern and Hendrix are members of the 16-institution Associated Colleges of the South.

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