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Aquinas College Hires Dr. Gilda Gely As Executive Vice President & Provost

March 26, 2014 - (Grand Rapids, Mich.) – Aquinas College President Dr. Juan Olivarez announced today that Dr. Gilda Gely will become the school’s next executive vice president and provost. Gely has a combined 25 years of teaching and top level administrative experience at both public and private academic institutions. She will join Aquinas in late May.

Following the decision of current Provost Dr. Chad Gunnoe to return to the classroom and focus on research, Aquinas conducted a nation-wide search for candidates to fill the role of executive vice president and provost. A wide range of faculty members, stakeholders, executive management, alumni and students took part in the screening and interview process. The search committee cited Gely’s collaborative and inclusive leadership style, diverse background in higher education specifically as provost, and experience with workforce development programs among the reasons she is qualified to serve as provost at Aquinas.

“This was truly a campus wide search for not only the most qualified candidate, but for one who will exemplify the Aquinas spirit and aid us as we continue our work to become one of the leading educational institutions in the region,” said Olivarez. “By considering feedback from these essential stakeholders, I was able to choose the candidate who best represents the Aquinas culture and will help lead us into the future.”

Gely most recently served as provost and executive vice president at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC). Before joining GRCC in 2007, Gely served as interim dean of academic affairs at the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao, and has held positions as the vice chancellor and director of languages department at the Universidad del Este, Carolina in Puerto Rico. During her career, she has focused on producing outcomes based on data driven results; instructional quality; program review, development and accreditation; student placement and assessment; and ensuring compliance with federal policies and expectations.

“I’m thrilled to accept this position and eager to take part in continuing Aquinas’ rich history,” said Gely. “I look forward to working with Aquinas faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as the Grand Rapids community, to further position Aquinas as a leader in the academic landscape. I am excited to be a part of Aquinas’ future.”

Among her many roles as executive vice president and provost at Aquinas College, Gely will function as dean of the faculty, determining faculty appointments, overseeing faculty development, and serving as the bridge between the faculty and administration. She will also oversee the management and budget of all academic and student affairs.

“We’re excited to welcome Dr. Gely to Aquinas College,” said Olivarez. “With more than 25 years of higher education and teaching experience, she will be an incredible asset. She has proven herself to be an inspirational and motivating leader, an innovative thinker who has created new programs and structures in response to expressed needs, and an integral part of the Grand Rapids community. She will bring a wealth of knowledge to Aquinas that will be of great value, and her background will allow her to begin immediately contributing and helping to grow our educational institution.”

Gely earned a doctorate in Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s in Spanish from Middlebury College and a bachelor’s in radio/TV and Spanish from Kansas State University.