Brenau Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs James Eck poses for a portrait. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Brenau Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs James Eck poses for a portrait on campus. Eck is a nationally recognized expert on professional teaching and assessment. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Jim Eck Begins New Role as Brenau University’s Chief Academic Officer

Jul 3, 2017
Kristen Bowman

Dr. James C. Eck, a nationally recognized expert on the nexus of professional teaching and meaningful learning in higher education, has officially joined the Brenau University administration as provost and vice president of academic affairs.

Eck succeeds Dr. Nancy Krippel, who retired this year. He previously served as provost at Louisburg College in Louisburg, North Carolina, where he worked since June 2010.

“The Brenau search ended in January, and I’ve had about four months at my former institution where it’s been a time of goodbye,” Eck said. “It’s a little sad to leave a college you worked for for six or seven years, so I’m happy to be saying hello again at my new university. People have been so welcoming and kind, and I don’t think I could have had a better transition here.”

The university picked Eck in a nationwide search to find a replacement for Krippel, who came to Brenau in 2011. The decision followed visits to the campus by Eck and other finalists that included private meetings with some faculty and administrators as well as open forums for students, faculty and staff.

“His entire career has been dedicated to continuous improvement to higher education academics through his own teaching, his collegial leadership skill with faculty and curriculum development, and his unparalleled expertise in managing compliance with the most rigid accreditation and certification standards,” said Brenau President Ed Schrader. “With his reputation for integrity and professionalism, he has made academic programs better everywhere he has been.”

As provost and vice president for academic affairs, Eck’s immediate objectives include working through the strategic plan, ensuring university rankings are consistent, strengthening international initiatives and identifying the programs that could expand. In addition to the 139-year-old Women’s College, the university comprises undergraduate and graduate programs – including doctorates – on Georgia campuses in Gainesville, Augusta, Fairburn and Norcross as well as in Jacksonville, Florida. It also offers an extensive catalog of coeducational undergraduate and graduate degree programs online.

“I already met with [Vice President of Student Services] Amanda Lammers to begin exploring ways to extend student learning support services more widely to students who are not on the Gainesville campus,” Eck said. “We want them to have the same learning support and opportunity to use those services that everyone else does.”

Given his background in assessment, Eck said he is also interested in studying and identifying the learning outcomes at Brenau and those unique to the university.

“Those outcomes will help distinguish us among the other colleges that claim to do what we do,” Eck said.

Eck, a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, a Master of Business Administration at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and a Ph.D in higher education at the University of Georgia in Athens. Prior to his term at Louisburg, Eck also served in various posts at Samford and Rollins University in Winter Park, Florida.

Eck and his wife, Wendi, have two children: a son, Harrison, 17, and a daughter, Rachel, 15, both of whom are in high school. Outside of work, he devotes most spare time to family activities, including attending performing arts events and a variety of outdoor activities.