Mary Baldwin Dean to Fill Brenau’s Top Academic Post

Jun 15, 2011
Rudi Kiefer
Nancy F. Krippel, Mary Baldwin College’s dean of adult and graduate studies and associate dean of the college, formally accepted the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Brenau University, effective July 5.As the top academic officer at the university, Krippel will be dean of the faculty and oversee implementation of Brenau’s interdisciplinary “Four Portals of Learning” curriculum in undergraduate and graduate programs.

“Dr. Krippel is exactly the kind of inspiring and visionary leader essential to enable and support the ambitious pursuit of Brenau 2025, the university’s strategic plan for academic excellence and international leadership during the next 20 years,” said Brenau University President Ed Schrader. “As an administrator she has significant experience in all academic areas and all academic platforms that are essential to Brenau’s future.”

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Selected after a national search and interviews by faculty, staff and administrators with finalists earlier this month, Krippel made her first appearance on campus following her selection on Friday, March 25, during the spring meeting of the university’s board of trustees. Krippel will replace Jim Southerland, a long-time Brenau faculty member who moved into the top academic role in January 2009 – temporarily delaying his move to semi-retirement to help steer the university through its decennial accreditation reaffirmation, which is now close to completion.

“Brenau University in its ethos and mission represents all the things that have appealed to me most in life and career,” Krippel said. “I feel that this is a good fit and that I will be able to do some good at the university.”

In addition to her administrative duties, Krippel said that after about the first year she would like to resume teaching occasional courses. She is a professor of English, specializing in 18th century English novels. At Mary Baldwin this term she teaches a public communications/speech class.

One thing that Krippel says attracted her to Brenau was its women’s college. Although Brenau also offers coeducational undergraduate and graduate programs in other divisions of the university, it and Mary Baldwin remain among the fewer than 60 women’s colleges still in operation in the United States. Krippel earned her undergraduate degree in 1980 from Barat College in Lake Forest, Ill.

She earned a Master of Arts and Ph.D. at Loyola University Chicago.

Krippel has been at Mary Baldwin in Staunton, Va., since 2003. She is responsible for the leadership and management of adult degree programs, regional campuses and graduate programs.

Previously she served as associate provost at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., and as the top academic officer at her alma mater, Barat, where she also was on the faculty and director of the college’s study abroad program.

Krippel said she believes Brenau is on the right course in its strategic plan to double enrollments by 2025 primarily through graduate studies and programs aimed at nontraditional students. Brenau also plans significant expansion in that time frame of online studies for both traditional and nontraditional students at all levels.

Online studies,” she said, are “absolutely essential.”

“Traditional colleges and universities strive to expand their horizons, and one way to do that is through online studies,” she said. “Brenau will not compete for students with [for-profit universities like] Strayer or Phoenix, but will surpass them in quality. Brenau’s vision is professional preparation with the fundamentals of liberal arts at the core and, when you fold that philosophy and that 133-year tradition into online programs, there is no way for others to match it.”

Krippel and her husband, Frank, have three grown children and six grand children.