December 10, 2020 – Following a comprehensive national search, Macon, GA-based Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting has recruited Jon Preston as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost of the University of West Georgia (UWG). Emily Parker Myers, CEO, and Kenny Daugherty, president, led the assignment.
The search team evaluated hundreds of candidates and ultimately brought five finalists to the Carrollton campus for interviews with the search team and campus stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, and community members.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Preston join our leadership team as our next provost and chief academic officer,” said Brendan B. Kelly, president of UWG. “As a strong advocate for broadening participation, advancing student success and encouraging curricular innovation, he has led the development of interdisciplinary academic programs and collaborated with faculty and leaders across multiple universities, and we are eager for his thought-partnership and expertise as we advance UWG toward our next chapter.”
Dr. Preston has served within the University System of Georgia for 26 years. He is currently the dean of the College of Computing and Software Engineering at Kennesaw State University, where he has also served as faculty executive assistant to the president and department chair in computing. Prior to that, Dr. Preston served on the faculty at Clayton State University and Georgia Tech. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Georgia Tech and his doctorate in computer science from Georgia State University.
In his new role with UWG, Dr. Preston will lead the university’s team of collaborative deans and administrative leaders, building upon the strengths of the institution’s academic programs and promoting the school’s high-quality, transformative student learning experience to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
“As members of the local community, my family and I have benefited from the cultural and academic strengths of UWG, and I’m excited to become even more connected to UWG and serve the faculty, staff and students as provost,” Dr. Preston said. “UWG is well-positioned to lead higher education forward in so many ways, and I look forward to working closely with our faculty, staff and industry partners to advance excellence and opportunities for all students.”
Myers McRae serves colleges, universities, independent schools, and other not-for-profit institutions. Nearly all of its search professionals have a minimum of 20 years of experience in higher education. The majority of the firm’s searches have been for presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents, deans and other senior academic and administrative leaders. Myers McRae recently placed the president of Judson College, provost and dean at the Citadel, and director of development at Piedmont College, among other roles.
Ms. Myers has led Myers McRae since 2008. As the firm’s executive officer, she has broadened the firm’s scope and modernized processes, emphasizing responsiveness, timeliness, effectiveness and affordability. While utilizing new technology in the executive search process, Ms. Myers said she remains committed to the firm having person-to-person connections with candidates and that clients stay at the center of every search.
Myers McRae Seeks Provost for Middle Georgia State University
Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting has been enlisted by Middle Georgia State University to lead in its search for a provost and VP of academic affairs. Myers McRae said that candidates must have an earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution and evidence of successive academic administrative and supervisory experiences with qualifications meriting appointment at the rank of full professor in a discipline offered by the university. The search firm is looking for candidates with extensive expertise in program and curriculum development, program review and enhancement, continuous quality improvement processes, and budget and fiscal management is required.
Known for her leadership expertise and commitment to excellence, Ms. Myers brings to the firm’s searches her extensive firsthand knowledge and experience in higher education administration. For most of her career, she served as senior vice president of university advancement and external affairs at Mercer University.
Mr. Daugherty has an extensive background in higher education administration, having served 28 years in public and independent institutions. Throughout his career in higher education, he had personnel responsibilities and served on numerous search committees for professional staff and administrators for the institution. Mr. Daugherty has conducted hundreds of searches for schools across the nation, including presidential searches for the University of Montana Western, Northwest Missouri State University, McDaniel College, Oakwood University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Pasco-Hernando State College, Pierpont Community and Technical College, Wichita Area Technical College and the Georgia Independent College Association.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media