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Liberty News

Provost assumes role as Chief Academic Officer

April 10, 2017 : Liberty University News Service

Dr. Ron Hawkins, Liberty University Provost and Chief Academic OfficerDr. Ron Hawkins now holds the title of Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Liberty University, a position that more accurately defines his role as Liberty’s senior academic administrator.

Hawkins’ previous title was Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. President Jerry Falwell recently re-named the position following Dr. Ben Gutierrez’s appointment as Co-Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, so that the roles of the two leaders could be more clearly understood.

Gutierrez will primarily focus on the oversight and improvement of Liberty’s online program. Liberty is the nation’s largest private, nonprofit online educator and has been a pioneer in distance education since 1985. Working closely with the Provost’s Office, Gutierrez will help ensure that Liberty continues to comply with accreditation standards requiring that online and residential academic programs be comparable in scope and quality.

Hawkins came to Liberty in 1978 and taught Bible and homiletics. He served as chairman of the Department of Church Ministries and started the Master of Counseling program. He also served as dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary (now the Rawlings School of Divinity). He left Liberty to become president of Western Seminary and later was an associate pastor at Grand Rapids Church in Michigan. He returned to Liberty in 2000 to be Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and in 2006 joined the Provost’s Office, working especially on the development of Liberty’s online program. He served as interim provost before being named provost in January 2015. He is the founding dean of Liberty’s School of Behavioral Sciences, which was formed in Fall 2014. Hawkins has over 20 years of experience in mental health counseling, counselor training, and consulting.

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