WCU announces changes in Office of the Provost

As construction on Western Carolina University’s new Health and Human Sciences Building enters its final phases, Linda Seestedt-Stanford, who has been serving as WCU’s interim provost since July 1, 2010, is returning to her previous position as dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences.

Chancellor David O. Belcher appointed Beth Tyson Lofquist, associate provost, to serve as interim provost effective Monday, July 11.

“I am grateful to Linda for her service as WCU’s interim provost during a period of significant transition and look forward to her leadership as the new Health and Human Sciences Building comes online,” Belcher said in announcing the changes.

Lofquist became the university’s associate provost Sept. 15, 2008, in recognition of her increasing responsibility within the Office of the Provost, which oversees every aspect of academics at WCU. She had been associate vice chancellor for academic affairs since 2005.

Lofquist joined WCU as a full-time faculty member in 1993 and served as head of the department of birth through kindergarten, elementary and middle grades education from 2002 to 2005.

She holds three degrees from WCU – a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, a master’s degree in early childhood education, and an educational specialist degree in intermediate education. She earned her doctorate in curriculum and teaching from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1997. 

Lofquist will assume the role of interim provost for the coming academic year as the university launches a national search for a permanent provost. The search process will begin with college-based elections of nominees to serve on the provost search committee, Belcher said.

Founding dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, Seestedt-Stanford accepted an appointment as interim provost upon the departure of Kyle Carter, who became chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke on July 1, 2010.

Returning to the deanship will enable Seestedt-Stanford to help the college make the transition into a four-story, 160,000-square-foot building. The $46 million project is the first to be constructed on 344 acres WCU acquired across N.C. Highway 107 from the main campus as part of the Millennial Initiative. The interior will feature clinical and laboratory spaces, and offices and meeting areas for College of Health and Human Sciences programs that are currently located across four buildings.