Dr. Marisa Kelly Accepts Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Position at Ithaca College

Dr. Marisa Kelly, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at St. Thomas since 2006, will become provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y., on July 1, 2011.

Ithaca President Thomas Rochon, former executive vice president and chief academic officer at St. Thomas, announced Kelly’s appointment today.

Dr. Marisa Kelly

Dr. Marisa Kelly

As provost at Ithaca, a private coeducational college in western New York, Kelly will be reunited with Rochon. He hired her as the College of Arts and Sciences dean at St. Thomas when he served as executive vice president and chief academic officer.

“She is widely known as a mission-driven leader, with a distinguished record of working collaboratively to create and implement transformative strategic plans,” Rochon said in a news release. “I know her to be a tireless champion of excellence in student learning.”

The provost is Ithaca’s second-ranking administrative officer, overseeing academic programs, educational policy and faculty hiring, and is responsible for strategic planning to enhance teaching, research and creative activity.

 Dr. Susan Huber, who succeeded Rochon as executive vice president and chief academic officer at St. Thomas, congratulated Kelly on her new position and praised her service here.

“Marisa is a very fine dean,” Huber said. “I regret that she will be leaving her position, but I’m not surprised that she was Ithaca’s choice or that she would take this opportunity for advancement. I am very grateful for the energy and innovation she brought to her position at UST. ”

Huber expects to name an interim dean for the 2011-2012 academic year, during which a search will be conducted for a permanent dean who would take office in 2012.

Kelly said she was not looking to leave St. Thomas but found the Ithaca position “an incredibly exciting opportunity.” She will be involved in a new strategic planning initiative, IC20/20, which will engage the Ithaca community over the next decade.

“I always enjoyed sharing with Tom Rochon my honest perspective on all matters,” said Kelly, who as dean became the first person to hold the Al and Mary Agnes McQuinn Distinguished Chair in Arts and Sciences. “I look forward to renewing our working relationship.”

Kelly said she is proudest of her efforts to increase the visibility of St. Thomas’ art history and music programs, to establish best practices for departments on a variety of measures, and to establish a board of advisers that has provided sound advice, visibility and support for the college. During her St. Thomas tenure, Kelly has been involved in:

  • Forming the Department of Communication and Journalism by consolidating separate departments.
  • Collaborating with the Department of Art History to found the American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of St. Thomas.
  • Establishing the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center.
  • Launching a multifaceted effort to study and promote the concept of civil discourse, including an annual lecture series and an endowed chair.
  • Beginning the Regan Distinguished Lecture Series on the future of North American political and economic integration.
  • Moving the St. Thomas Christmas Concert to Orchestra Hall and developing a partnership with Twin Cities Public Television to broadcast the concert.
  • Converting the CAS Spotlight newsletter into a semiannual magazine sent to alumni.

Before joining St. Thomas, Kelly taught political science and served as associate dean and senior associate dean of the College of the Pacific, the liberal arts school of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. She has a B.A. in government from California State University-Sacramento, an M.A. in political theory from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Kansas.

Ithaca was founded in 1892 and offers programs in business, communications, health sciences, the humanities, music and the natural and social sciences. Undergraduate and graduate enrollment totals 6,400 and 500, respectively, and there are 470 full-time faculty, 250 part-time faculty and 970 staff. For more information about Ithaca, see here.