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Marietta College has named Dr. Kathleen Poorman Dougherty to be the next Provost and Dean of the Faculty. Dougherty will begin her tenure at Marietta on July 1, 2023.

As the second-highest ranking officer of the College, Dougherty will lead the Office of Academic Affairs, which includes more than 100 faculty members and dozens of staff, and serves more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students.

Marietta President Bill Ruud said Dougherty would provide strong leadership in Academic Affairs, has an inherent appreciation of shared governance, and possesses the vision to make effective, mission-focused change.

“Dr. Dougherty is an inspired choice to be Marietta’s chief academic officer, and I know the faculty, staff, and students will benefit from her guidance and astuteness,” Ruud said. “Throughout the meticulous search process, Kathleen proved to be philosophically well-aligned with the direction Marietta College is moving. More importantly, her wide-ranging and successful experiences at Alma College have prepared her well for this opportunity at Marietta.”

Over a 25-year distinguished career, Dr. Dougherty has worked as a faculty member, researcher, fundraiser, Dean, and senior administrator. She was the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Alma (Michigan) College from 2018-22 and has been on sabbatical this past year. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Olaf College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Oklahoma. Her scholarly interests are in moral theory, specifically virtue ethics and the development of the moral self.

I am honored to be joining the leadership team at Marietta College and grateful that my career has led me to this wonderful institution with a rich and compelling history,” she said. “Its commitment to academic excellence and its identity as a college that ‘celebrates curiosity, inspires independence, and praises perseverance’ are compelling. I am especially impressed by Marietta’s dedication to fostering the student experience through experiential learning, robust mentoring, and integrated leadership training.”

Under Dr. Dougherty’s leadership, Alma saw considerable academic innovation. Among these innovations was a significant revision to the general education curriculum that transformed the curriculum from a distributive model to one that fosters an interdisciplinary approach, centering vocational exploration, experiential learning, and educating for diversity. Core elements of the new curriculum are woven into the institution’s most recent strategic plan.

In addition, she led the development of new academic programs, including an undergraduate Engineering program as well as the introduction of the college’s first graduate programs. Under her collaborative leadership, the faculty approved an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, which will graduate its first cohort this summer; an M.S. in Communication Information Technology; as well as programs in Public Health and Counseling.

“We are pleased that Dr. Dougherty will join the Marietta College family, and we are excited to see how she positively impacts the ongoing academic excellence and innovation that has defined a Marietta education for nearly 200 years,” said Matt Weekley ’81, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “Her passions and expertise as a scholar and administrator align perfectly with the College's priorities. We look forward to her leadership as we pursue bold aspirations for our institution and the students we serve.”

Throughout her career, Dr. Dougherty has strongly advocated for the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and prioritizes DEI efforts in her leadership. She has supported considerable faculty and staff development efforts, including faculty and staff retreats exploring diversity and vocation, seminars on trauma-sensitive classrooms, and week-long workshops on inclusive course (re)design. In addition, she initiated the development of a longitudinal data set that allowed Alma to more fully understand student outcomes based on demographic and institutional data, making possible appropriate shifts in curricular and student success initiatives.

Dr. Dougherty served as the inaugural Dean for the School of Humanities at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, beginning in 2013, and subsequently led the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education until 2018.

She started her academic career as a visiting lecturer at the University of Maryland in 1999, and in 2001 she joined the faculty at George Washington University as an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department and University Honors Program. She was also a faculty member at Bowie State University and Notre Dame of Maryland University.

She regularly engages in efforts to further her professional development, recently completing Executive Leadership Academy and Penn State’s Academy for Anti-Racist Leadership and Harvard’s seminar on Bravely Confronting Racism. She is working toward a Fund Raising Management certificate at the Lilly School of Philanthropy.

Dr. Dougherty grew up in Ashland, Ohio, where her parents still reside. Her daughter, Emma, attends Stanford Law School. Dr. Dougherty will soon move to Marietta with her cat, Betsy.

Having grown up in central Ohio, it is truly a joy to return to the region I call home and to serve an institution that I have long held in high regard,” she said. “I was drawn to this community by the dedicated faculty, staff, and leadership team and their desire to promote the success of their students and a vibrant future for the college. I’m looking forward to partnering together as we look to new opportunities for innovation, growth, and excellence. It is a pleasure to join Marietta on this path.”

Dr. Mark Miller, Associate Provost for Administration and Planning, chaired the national search committee.

“I am excited and eager to have Dr. Dougherty join the campus as she leads us forward,” Miller said. “Please join me in welcoming Kathleen Dougherty as our new Provost and Dean of the Faculty.”

Dougherty succeeds Dr. Charles Stinemetz, who since August has served as the Interim Provost.