Auburn Montgomery names first-ever provost

Dr. Jeffery Elwell
Dr. Jeffery Elwell

MONTGOMERY, AL - Dr. Jeffery Elwell has been chosen to become Auburn Montgomery's first provost, Chancellor John Veres announced Monday.

Elwell, who currently serves as professor and dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at East Carolina University, will begin work June 22, Veres said.

"I am absolutely thrilled to have someone of Dr. Elwell's broad academic experience and high energy level in this key position," Veres said.

"In its 40-year history, Auburn Montgomery has developed a reputation for delivering a quality education, and I am confident that, under Dr. Elwell's leadership, we shall not only continue that tradition but elevate our academic quality to new heights," he said.

As provost, Elwell will serve as the university's chief academic officer and will replace the position previously called vice chancellor for academic affairs. He also will oversee many of the day-to-day operations of the campus. In addition, he will join the university's faculty as a tenured professor in the Department of Communication and Dramatic Arts.

"I am delighted and humbled by the opportunity to become a member of Chancellor Veres' leadership team and work with the faculty to bring Auburn Montgomery to even greater prominence," said Elwell. "My family and I are looking forward to moving to Montgomery and becoming involved in the community."

Elwell comes to Auburn Montgomery after six successful years in the dean's position at East Carolina. During his tenure, the College of Fine Arts and Communication has grown from 1,622 students to 2,359 and received 12 new permanent faculty lines. He also instituted a research and creative activity grant program for faculty and created a Summer Arts Leadership Institute with funding from BB&T.

Prior to East Carolina, Elwell was professor and chair of the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Nebraska. He also served as professor and chair of the Department of Theatre and director of the Edwards Performing Arts Center at Marshall University. In addition, he served as director of theatre at Mississippi State University and Gardner-Webb University, and as chair of Theatre at Aurora University.

Elwell earned his Ph.D. in speech communication and theater from Southern Illinois University. He holds a master's in communication and theatre from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and a bachelor's degree in English from California State University-Bakersfield.

In announcing Elwell's selection, Veres made a point to thank the members of the Provost Search Committee for conducting one of the most open, inclusive and thorough searches ever at Auburn Montgomery. He offered his thanks all of the faculty and staff who participated in the process.