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Aquinas College selects new Provost and Dean of Faculty

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After conducting a nationwide search, Aquinas College President Kevin G. Quinn has selected Dr. Stephen Germic as the College’s new provost and dean of faculty. Germic will begin his new role on July 1.

Germic, a Michigan native, comes to Aquinas from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, where he has served as provost and academic vice president since 2014. During his tenure he helped Rocky Mountain College increase its graduation rate and steadily rise in prominence to become the #2 value among similar institutions in the West. 

“Dr. Germic has a history of transformative academic leadership across disciplines that has led to impressive growth. His vision and collaboration with faculty has both strengthened and enhanced the student experience,” President Quinn said. “I am grateful to the faculty-led search committee for its efforts, guidance and recommendations during this process.”

As Rocky Mountain College’s chief academic officer, Germic oversaw all academic functions, the registrar’s office, academic support services, the library and educational resource center, information technology, institutional research, and admissions and enrollment.

Prior to that, Germic served as Rocky Mountain College’s associate academic vice president from 2012–2014 with responsibility for assessment and accreditation. He came to the college as a professor of English in 2007.

Prior to his roles at Rocky Mountain College, Germic was program chair of liberal arts at American University in Dubai; co-director of Prince bin Alwaleed Center for American Studies and other roles at American University in Cairo; an assistant professor of English and co-director of the American Studies Program at James Madison University; a visiting assistant professor in the department of writing, rhetoric and American cultures at Michigan State University; and a graduate teaching fellow in the department of English at Wayne State University.

“I cannot overstate how honored and excited I am to be coming to Aquinas College and returning to Michigan,” Germic said. “I am humbled by the warm welcome of President Quinn and the entire Aquinas community, and I am very much looking forward to getting to campus to learn from and work with the exceptional faculty, staff and students of the College.”

The provost and dean of faculty at Aquinas College provides academic leadership and oversight of the academic affairs of the College in order to advance the College’s strategic vision, align curriculum and delivery with mission and emerging needs, pursue organizational effectiveness and exemplify the Dominican Charism.

Aquinas College’s Office of the Provost includes offices for academic affairs, advising, engagement and outreach, institutional research, library, student success, and the AQ Advantage Center (career services, internships, study away and student research).

Germic will report to President Quinn, will serve as a member of the president’s cabinet and will work closely with the Board of Trustees.

“The personality and obvious leadership qualities of President Quinn made this a very easy decision. I was also deeply impressed by the dedication of the Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids. I am tremendously fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be part of working to fulfill the mission and vision of this of this exceptional institution,” Germic said.

Germic is a specialist in nineteenth-century American literature. He authored the book “American Green: Class, Crisis and the Deployment of Nature in Central Park, Yosemite and Yellowstone” and has published numerous scholarly articles and book chapters, reviews, poetry and creative nonfiction.

Germic earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Albion College and a doctorate in American Literature from Wayne State University.

The selection of Germic is the result of the work of a 14-member search committee, that included nine faculty members, a staff member, a student leader, two cabinet members and the chair of the Board of Trustees. The committee was assisted by HR and the national executive placement firm Academic Search.

Germic will succeed Dr. Steve Barrows, who departed Aquinas College for a position at the Acton Institute in July 2019 after serving three years as provost. Dr. Heather Kesselring-Quakenbush, has been serving as interim provost since Dr. Barrows’ departure.

“I am profoundly grateful to Dr. Kesselring-Quakenbush. While serving as interim provost, her leadership and care for her fellow Aquinas Saints has provided a smooth transition into our new strategic plan and the work of our task forces,” President Quinn said. “I thank her for rising up to this monumental challenge, for leading our faculty and students through a shift to distance learning, and being a true leader on this campus.”