WMU News

Elise Jorgens named provost at College of Charleston

May 16, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Dr. Elise B. Jorgens, interim provost at Western Michigan University and a 25-year member of the WMU faculty, has been named provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the College of Charleston, effective July 15.

"As a scholar-researcher and teacher, Dr. Jorgens will be a forceful advocate for the institution and in particular, its faculty and the academic programs," says Lee Higdon, president of College of Charleston.

Located in Carleston, S.C., the college enrolls about 11,000 undergraduate and 1,700 graduate students. Founded in 1770 and chartered in 1785, it is the 13th oldest institution of higher education in the United States.

Jorgens was named interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at WMU in January, when Provost Daniel M. Litynski began his service as interim president. Both changes were prompted by the resignation of then-President Elson S. Floyd, who left to accept the presidency at the University of Missouri.

On May 8, the Board of Trustees named Dr. Judith Bailey to succeed Floyd as the seventh president of Western Michigan University, and it was announced that Litynski would return to his duties as provost and vice president of academic affairs.

Prior to her appointment as interim provost, Jorgens had served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 1997. She first came to WMU in 1977 as a member of the music faculty, following a stint at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where she served for a year as a resident associate.

In 1978, she joined the faculty of the Department of English, where she has been a tenured professor since 1989. She directed graduate studies in that department from 1989 to 1992.

In 1992, Jorgens was named associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She became interim dean in 1996 and was named to the position permanently the following year.

Jorgens earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from Carleton College in 1965 and a doctoral degree in musicology from the City University of New York in 1975. She has been the recipient of a number of fellowships and awards, including two Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowships, an Andrew Mellon Fellowship, three Newberry Library short-term fellowships and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Jorgens is the author of one book and numerous articles, book chapters, dictionary entries and book reviews on English poetry, drama and song. She also is the editor of a 12-volume series of books.

She has been active with the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences and recently completed a term as a member of that organization's board of directors. She also is a member of the Michigan Civics Institute advisory board and a member of the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies Executive Board.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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