Angela Salas, associate vice chancellor of academic affairs at Indiana University Southeast, has been appointed as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at FSU.
Salas was among four candidates who spoke at open forums during the months of March and April.
During her forum, she emphasized the importance of social justice in the framework of higher education, as well as clear communication with staff and students.
Salas obtained a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is also the founding director of Indiana University Southeast’s honors program.
In an email, Salas said she is “excited to become a member of a university with such a fine and historic past, as well as a sense of its future. The value and purposes of higher education are the source of much conversation, and FSU has positioned itself well to both respond to cultural change and maintain its sense of purpose and True North.”
She said, “The future of this nation, and of the world, depends on the wisdom and the knowledge of the people – most particularly, those younger than I am, who will be making all sorts of decisions about familial, local, national, and world priorities.
“My entire career has been spent trying to assure or protect the conditions necessary for student success, so that students become graduates, and graduates move forward to build thoughtful and consequential lives,” Salas added.
Salas said she hopes to “identify priorities” of both students and staff during her first 100 days. “The way forward will become more clear as I become more familiar with all the players, and with the gifts and perspectives they bring to bear.”
FSU President F. Javier Cevallos said Salas “brings a wealth of academic experience and a track record in student success. In addition to her academic experience, she brings great energy and enthusiasm to the job and will be a great member of our community.”
Suzanne Wright, a senior who attended all four student open forums, said, “I appreciated how Dr. Salas went out of her way to talk to us after her open forum, especially in a way that felt like casual conversation. You could tell that she considers her job as an administrator to be very student-centered, which is a good quality to have.”
She added, “I can see her being very approachable and active with campus life in her role as provost.”
English professor Desmond McCarthy, chair of the search committee, said, “In Angela Salas, President Cevallos has chosen a provost who is a worthy successor to Linda Vaden-Goad – a collaborative leader who will inspire students and faculty alike and who not only firmly believes in the purpose of a liberal arts education, but who can also articulate its value in the 21st century.
“She is someone committed to helping us achieve the goals faculty have laid out in our five-year plan,” he added. “She will help us continue to become a more diverse faculty who are better trained and equipped to serve our increasingly diverse student body.
McCarthy added, “She will be a transformational academic leader not only at Framingham State, but in our region as well.”
Adam Scanlon, a student representative on the provost search committee, said, “The provost search was a very intensive, but collaborative process.”
He added, “Learning about the different backgrounds from these various individuals was a very rewarding experience. The diversity on the committee was essential in selecting a provost who would be representative of the entire campus.
Scanlon said, “I am pleased with the outcome because the process was fair and well-executed. Everyone acted in good faith – therefore, the outcome was bound to be a positive one. Dr. Salas is an extraordinary person and leader in education. The campus and she will be lucky to have each other. Her abilities will allow her the leverage to tackle the difficult challenges awaiting.”
[Editor’s note: Dr. Desmond McCarthy is advisor to The Gatepost.]