LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 2, 2013) — Michael J. Bell will serve as Transylvania University’s interim vice president and dean of the college. He began his new role Thursday.
Bell was selected after a comprehensive search by a university committee composed of faculty and administrators.
Bell recently has served as vice president at a number of colleges requiring interim leadership, including Suffolk University and Merrimack College, both in the Boston area. He began his academic career as a professor at Wayne State University in Detroit and later moved to Grinnell College in Iowa. Bell received his doctorate in folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania.
“One of the advantages I bring to the table is that I have experienced a variety of institutions at a variety of stages in the institution’s life,” Bell said. “A few months ago Transylvania was poised to make a leap forward. If I can do anything to build on that momentum, then I would feel extremely successful.
“I sense that people are ready to get started and are looking forward to the new term. They want things to happen. Everything I saw, everyone I met, suggested that this is a very strong community, one that cares deeply about the values of the institution.”
Bell replaces Kathleen Jagger, who served as the interim vice president and dean for the 2012-13 academic year. Jagger will return to full-time faculty duties as a biology professor at Transylvania University, a position she has held for 12 years.