Dr. Kathleen Poorman Dougherty is Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Marietta College. She joined the College on June 26, 2023 and is a tenured Professor of Philosophy. As the second-highest ranking officer of the College, Dougherty leads 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.
In joining the Marietta community, Dr. Dougherty said she is drawn to Marietta’s commitment to academic excellence and its identity as a college that “celebrates curiosity, inspires independence, and praises perseverance.”
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 College (Michigan) from 2018-22. 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.
Under Dr. Dougherty’s leadership, Alma saw considerable academic innovation, including a full revision of 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. Under her collaborative leadership, the college introduced its first graduate programs, with the faculty approving an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, an M.S. in Communication Information Technology, as well as programs in Public Health and Counseling. In addition, her leadership was key to enhancing relationships between the college and the community with the introduction of a new Center for College and Community Engagement that supported faculty, staff, and student development for experiential learning and helped the College more fully live out its mission and identity.
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 workshops exploring diversity and vocation, trauma-sensitive classrooms, and inclusive course 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.
Prior to her time at Alma, Dr. Dougherty served as the inaugural Dean for the School of Humanities at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and subsequently led the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education until 2018. She also held faculty positions at Notre Dame of Maryland University, Bowie State University, and George Washington University.
Dr. Dougherty grew up in Ashland, Ohio, where her parents still reside. Her daughter, Emma, attends Stanford Law School.