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Mayfield named vice provost for undergraduate education at Appalachian

BOONE—Following a national search, Dr. Mike Mayfield has been named vice provost for undergraduate education at Appalachian State University. Mayfield, a professor of geography, has served in the role of interim vice provost since 2010.

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As vice provost for undergraduate education, Mayfield is responsible for providing the vision for the first- and second-year experience on campus. He also will continue to work with the Appalachian community on university-wide undergraduate initiatives.

“Mike brings the vision and leadership that will allow the campus to further develop and implement undergraduate programing to offer a truly transformative undergraduate experience for our students,” said Dr. Lori S. Gonzalez, provost and executive vice chancellor at Appalachian.

“I have always loved teaching and working with students and I miss that, but in this position I have the opportunity to influence policy that impacts a lot of students at Appalachian,” Mayfield said.

In this position, Mayfield has administrative responsibility for areas within University College: General Education, First Year Seminar Program, Writing Across the Curriculum, University Writing Center, Service-Learning, Community Engagement, University Forum Series, Advising and Orientation, Learning Assistance Program, Testing Services, University Documentary Film Services, Student Research, Early Intervention Team, and the Summer Reading Program.

“Being part of the ongoing development and refinement of University College is at the top of my list for wanting to continue in this position,” Mayfield said.

“University College and the General Education Program should be a way that we introduce students to the college-level experience, and support and challenge them in ways that result in a smooth handoff to the college that houses their academic major,” he said. “The General Education curriculum plays a very important role in development of the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in a tough job market – skills like critical thinking, written and verbal communication skills, the ability to work in interdisciplinary groups and the ability to solve unscripted problems. These are skills that will remain critical even as the economy recovers. General Education begins the process for developing those skills.”

Mayfield received his bachelor’s degree in geography from Western Carolina University and master’s and doctoral degrees in geography from the University of Tennessee. He has been a member of the faculty at Appalachian since 1988.

Mayfield served as faculty coordinator of General Education at Appalachian from 2007-10, was chair of the Department of Geography and Planning from 1998-2002 and interim department chair in spring 1996. He was a visiting scientist at the CATIE Research Institute in Costa Rica in spring 1995, and has led study abroad and field trips to Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru.

He is a member of the Association of American Geographers Southeastern Division, Association of American Geographers, North Carolina Geographical Society, Association for General and Liberal Studies and the Association of Deans and Directors of University Colleges.

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