Provost Larry Gould resigns to return to teaching: Assistant Provost Chris Crawford takes interim role

Dr. Larry Gould said today that he would step down as provost at Fort Hays State University and return to the classroom. The provost is the chief academic officer and leads the Division of Academic Affairs.

Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, regretfully accepted Gould's resignation. "Larry has been important to our university's development, our innovative spirit, our growth and our high-quality educational environment," he said. "With his resignation as provost, he will return to the Department of Political Science as a full professor."

The president announced that Dr. Chris Crawford, who has served as assistant provost for 10 years, would become interim provost for a year while a national search is conducted to find a permanent replacement.

Crawford started at FHSU in 1990 as an instructor of communication and debate coach. He moved to Leadership Studies in 1998 and then to the Master's of Liberal Studies Program as director in 2001. He became assistant provost for quality management in 2003 and also served as interim dean of the business college in 2008.

Crawford earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1989 and master's in communication studies in 1990, both from FHSU, and a Ph.D. in organizational communication from the University of Kansas in 1998.

"As interim provost, my sole agenda will be to keep the positive efforts with Academic Affairs moving forward and position the campus for a new provost in fall 2014," Crawford said.

"Any success I have will be a direct outcome of Larry's gentle hand and inspired thoughts that I have picked up over the past 10 years," he added. "This job will be considerably easier because of the great faculty and staff of Academic Affairs. I will rely heavily on the professional relationships I have with the faculty, staff, chairs and deans in the division. Their considerable expertise and patience will serve the university well during this transition period."

Gould said that during his 16 years as provost, he used the position as an 'opportunity mandate.' "I saw my role as creating opportunities to help faculty and staff do what they needed to do in terms of providing compelling learning experiences on and off campus for FHSU students and stakeholders," he said.

Gould said he had always been a great believer in civic learning, and he offered a quote from Thomas Jefferson: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

"That sentiment has driven me in my career as an educator," Gould said. "This is more than a job. One of our primary responsibilities in higher education is to create civic-minded citizens, and I look forward to continuing my own contribution to this effort. I think FHSU is a national leader in fulfilling this critical goal."

"I haven't taught in 24 years," he said. "So, I will take leave to prepare classes and then return to the role of a faculty member sometime next year. Steve Trout, prolific author and former chair of the Department of English, used to tell me that there's a former faculty member in you trying to get out. I look forward to that opportunity to 'walk the talk' and use the emerging technologies, collaborative learning and re-imagined pedagogies that I preach about so frequently."

Gould earned a bachelor's degree in history from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 1971, a master's in political science from Eastern New Mexico University in 1973 and a Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University in 1979. He came to FHSU In August 1981 as a faculty member in Political Science.

He has filled several positions at FHSU. He was founder and director of the Docking Institute of Public Affairs beginning in 1984, and he became executive assistant to President Hammond in 1989. President Hammond promoted him to dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1991, and he was named provost in 1998.

"In terms of looking back, perhaps the two greatest accomplishments during my tenure as provost were to serve as a catalyst for distance education and to help steer FHSU toward greater involvement in international education," he said.

"There is something that I call the 'wow factor' that tells the organization you can do things -- lead and succeed," he said. "My wow moment was when the Faculty Senate selected me to lead the search for a new president. It took a year. Against some resistance, I insisted that we release the names of our finalists to the media. So the six names went out and everything worked out fine. Dr. Edward H. Hammond became president in 1987."

Gould said that as a first-generation college student himself, diversity is also important to him and as an administrator and again in the classroom, he wants to ensure that all types of students have access to higher education.

He added, "I appreciate the opportunities President Hammond gave me in taking on the responsibilities of both dean and provost."

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