March 16, 2016
Effective March 1, R. Lorraine (Laurie) Bernotsky has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University. President Greg Weisenstein announced the appointment on Feb. 3.
Bernotsky, who had been serving as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs since June 2015, joined WCU as a faculty member in the Political Science Department in 1996. She oversees the Academic Affairs Division, whose five colleges together offer more than 100 academic degree programs. As one of the largest divisions at WCU, Academic Affairs also houses the Library, the Office of Institutional Research, the Center for International Programs, as well as the offices of undergraduate admissions, enrollment management, financial aid, graduate studies, and undergraduate student support services.
Prior to this role, Bernotsky served as associate provost and dean of graduate studies at WCU, providing leadership in the areas of curriculum development, general education, new program development, program review, assessment, regional and specialized external accreditation, articulation agreements with other two- and four-year institutions, academic policies, and faculty development. During the past two years, she led the approval of WCU's first three doctoral programs, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, the Doctor of Public Administration, and a Doctor of Education, as well as four new master's degree programs. She has been instrumental in increasing graduate enrollment by more than nine percent over the past three years. She is also the founder of WCU's Center for Social and Economic Policy Research.
Bernotsky earned an M.Phil. and a D.Phil. in politics from the University of Oxford, and an M.A. in sociology from Temple University. Her research interests and publications include women in politics, race, class and gender theory, economic development, as well as teaching and learning.