North Park University Selects Michael S. Carr, Ph.D.  as New Provost featured image background
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May 14, 2021

North Park University Selects Michael S. Carr, Ph.D. as New Provost

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From President Mary K. Surridge: I am delighted to announce today that the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for North Park University has approved the nomination of Michael S. Carr, Ph.D. as Provost and chief academic officer, responsible for leading the university’s faculty and full academic program. Dr. Carr will join the President’s Cabinet, partnering with and reporting directly to the President, beginning July 1, 2021.

As chief academic officer, the Provost provides leadership for the development and implementation of all academic planning and policy as well as the academic budget; reviews and approves academic appointments; and makes recommendations to the president on promotion and tenure decisions. Within this role, the Provost coordinates across all academic units—College of Arts and Sciences; School of Business & Nonprofit Management; School of Education; School of Nursing & Health Sciences; School of Music, Art and Theatre; School of Professional Studies; and Theological Seminary.

Dr. Carr is a person of active and expressed Christian faith and has been active for over 20 years in his Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) congregation.  He is very enthused about the mission and opportunity to serve North Park, lead our faculty and be a strong strategic senior partner with the president now, and into the decade to come.  He has measurable and demonstrated success in academic program development, personnel management, budget management, and strategic partnerships across higher education in the city of Chicago.  He has demonstrated success with articulation agreements with two-year community colleges (an important and growing transfer market for North Park) and was the candidate with the deepest understanding and experience with a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in Chicago.

Dr. Carr emerged as the premier candidate of our campus community from a strong pool of four finalists, after well-attended campus forums and more than 200 submitted feedback forms that overwhelmingly supported him.

I have full confidence in his leadership, our partnership, and his ability to support and advance our Christian mission.

Dr. Carr comes to us from National Louis University in Chicago where he has served as Deputy Provost responsible for advancing change leadership across the academic enterprise and providing direction and executive oversight that promotes academic excellence and positive student outcomes. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Olivet Nazarene University, his master’s from Ball State University, and his PhD in molecular biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He is an accomplished scholar, a proven administrator, and the right person to serve in this vital role at this important time in the history of our 130-year-old institution, as we create our future together through North Park Next. I have full confidence in his ability to lead our excellent faculty as we enhance and expand our academic portfolio aligned with student interests and employer needs and emerge as a model for Christian higher education in 21st Century America.

NLU is a designated Hispanic and Minority Serving Institution (HSI, MSI) serving nearly 10,000 students annually at the undergraduate and graduate levels at multiple campuses and online. Among many other accomplishments at that institution, Dr. Carr co-led the development of Accelerate U, a new division focused on the creation of stackable credentials aligned with the bachelor’s degree and employer needs; developed the 2030 Strategic Plan Pillar “Preparing Our Students for the Future of Work”; worked with faculty to develop a strategic plan for research and scholarship; and worked with the Faculty Senate Chair and committees to develop Senate yearly goals and update policy revisions as needed. Dr. Carr also mobilized the university’s remote learning response to the pandemic and led NLU’s preparation for the 2021 HLC comprehensive site visit.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve at a university which aligns my personal and professional values.  I look forward to working with the tremendous faculty and the collective community as North Park University becomes a model of urban, Christian education through community engagement and impact.”

Dr. Carr was selected after a national search conducted by a diverse committee of colleagues representing North Park faculty, staff, administrators, and Board of Trustees, in partnership with Academic Search. His Curriculum Vitae is linked here.

The University is deeply grateful to Dr. Andrea Hamos and Dr. Mahauganee Shaw of Academic Search; to our Search committee co-chairs, Anthony Scola, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing and Dr. Cindy Hudson, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences; and to the members of the search committee: Yoojin Choi, Professor of Biology and Director of Summer Science Academy; Gregory Crawford, Board of Trustees and Adjunct Faculty, School of Business and Nonprofit  Management; Peggy Kotowski, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Baccalaureate Program Director; Maya Durham Rayner, Assistant Professor of Art and Graphic Design; Aaron Schoof, Senior Director of Data and Administrative Services; Kelly Potteiger, Professor of Athletic Training; Andrea Nevels, Vice President for Student Engagement; Michael Johnson, Professor of History; and Rochelle Robinson-Levant, Associate Dean, School of Business and Nonprofit  Management. I also thank all in our community who participated in the campus forums.

With deep gratitude and respect to Dr. Craig Johnson for his service and leadership as Provost over the last 18 months, we look forward to his engagement with Dr. Carr in a productive and successful transition.

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