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USU Provost to Retire; Noelle Cockett Will Take Reins

Tuesday, Oct. 02, 2012

Raymond T. Coward

Utah State University President Stan L. Albrecht sent a letter to USU employees today, Oct. 2, announcing the upcoming retirement of Provost Raymond Coward on July 1, 2013. Vice President for Extension and Dean of the College of Agriculture Noelle Cockett will replace him July 1. Here is the complete text of President Albrecht’s letter:

Dear USU Faculty and Staff,

Transitions in leadership are very much a part of the "cycle" of university governance. For the past seven years, Executive Vice President and Provost Raymond Coward has provided strong leadership for our academic programs at Utah State University. Among the most significant accomplishments that have occurred during his tenure are the following:

- Working with the central administration, deans, department heads, and faculty, several new academic units have been created, including the Caine College of the Arts; the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the School of Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education; the School of Veterinary Medicine; the School of Teacher Education and Leadership; the Department of Applied Economics; and the Department of Economics and Finance;

- He has worked with other academic leaders to improve and clarify the USU promotion and tenure processes and procedures;

- He has been an advocate for and a central player in creating the administrative structure and the necessary policies to support the current state-wide system, including the successful integration of USU Eastern campuses in Price and Blanding into the USU system;

- Together with the deans, he was instrumental in creating the “New Faculty Academy” and enhancing the preparation of our new faculty to continue our record of excellence in the classroom;

- He has worked with the different academic units to recruit and hire 328 tenured or tenure-track faculty; and

- During a period of severe economic downturn, he has worked closely with me and other members of our administrative team to address significant legislative budget cuts, helping us to maintain the strength and integrity of our academic programs. All of these are significant contributions that will have long term positive impacts on the nature and quality of this university.

In the context of transitions, I want to announce to the university community that Provost Coward will retire from the University effective July 1, 2013. Ray and his wife Andrea now have the well-earned opportunity to spend more time with children and grandchildren, and they both are very much looking forward to doing just that.

I am also pleased to announce that Vice President for Extension and Dean of the College of Agriculture Noelle Cockett has agreed to assume the role as Executive Vice President and Provost, effective upon the date of Ray’s retirement. My one apology in making this announcement is that Noelle hasn’t had the opportunity to enjoy her office view for as long as she had hoped. As everyone is aware, Noelle has provided exceptional leadership for our university community in many different roles. Prior to her appointment as VP/Dean, Noelle served for a time as Interim Provost, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and Interim Dean of the Graduate School. Her broad range of experience makes her particularly well-prepared to assume this new assignment. Additionally, her extended service and many accomplishments have earned her the support and respect of students, faculty, staff, and fellow administrators, as well as strong support throughout the state. Her appointment has been vetted with faculty senate leadership, Deans and Vice Presidents, and our Boards of Trustees and Regents. I am absolutely confident that we can all look to outstanding leadership from Noelle as we continue to move this great University forward.

I offer my personal thanks to Ray and Andrea for all they have brought, and continue to bring, to this University. It has been a great pleasure to work closely with them these last several years.

Stan L. Albrecht, President

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