Dr. Jeanine Varner will step down as provost before the end of December and will join the Department of English full-time next semester.
Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, told faculty and staff in email Thursday he had decided to speed up Varner’s transition out of the post. She told faculty and staff two weeks ago her original plan was to leave the position at the end of the spring.
“I have asked Dr. Jeanine Varner to complete her service as provost prior to the end of this calendar year rather than waiting until the end of the academic year as previously announced,” Schubert said in the email.
He said the university will conduct a nationwide search to fill the position. In the meantime, Schubert will designate an interim provost within the next few weeks who will work with Varner during a transition.
Schubert told faculty and staff in a university-wide meeting Thursday he valued Varner’s service.
“I have the utmost respect and admiration for Dr. Varner,” Schubert told faculty and staff in the budget realignment meeting Thursday. “No one is more committed to the work of educating our students.”
Varner was granted tenure when she arrived at ACU in 2007 to serve as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Even in administration and moving to the provost job in 2009, Varner has continued teaching as much as possible.
“The job will be quite different – but I’ve always been focused on effective teaching and student learning,” Varner said in an email. “While I would not have chosen the set of circumstances I’m experiencing now, I look forward to being with my students and my faculty colleagues.”
Dr. Cole Bennett, interim chair of the Department of English, said the department is glad to have her. He said class schedules have not yet been finalized so it’s unclear what courses she will teach when she begins her role as full-time professor of English in January.
“She is a tremendous scholar and has a successful record of classroom teaching,” Bennett said. “We are thrilled to have her expertise in our ranks.”