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New provost brings energy, insight to RF

September 21, 2006

There is another new face on campus this year: Provost Charles Hurt.

“Charlie brings energy, experience and insight to this vital position,” said Chancellor Don Betz in a July 6 campus announcement.

As chief academic officer of the University, Hurt will oversee all curricular programs, classes, faculty issues, such as hiring and evaluating faculty members, and anything involving academics.

Before arriving at UW-River Falls, Hurt was the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Prior West Chester, Hurt was the associate, acting and interim dean of the University of Arizona’s College of Social and Behavioral Science.  He also has teaching experience at the University of Arizona, UW-Madison, McGill University and Simmons College.

UW-RF is smaller than the universities Hurt previously worked for, but he said he loves the size of the campus because he grew up in a small town, and it is easier to get to know the students. He said he likes that the campus is close to a metropolitan area but still has a small town atmosphere.

The process of becoming provost involved a lengthy series of interviews, both phone and in-person.

Hurt said he hopes to provide an excellent educational experience for students.

In the future, he sees the campus growing in population, but because there is a lack of available physical classroom and residential space, wants to develop more online courses.  He also hopes to guest lecture or teach a few class sessions because he misses teaching.

“Students need to be more aggressive about their own education,” Hurt said, adding that students should “question everything and get all they can from their education here at River Falls.”

The new provost said he wants others to know this University is a good place to attend college because right now, “River Falls is a well-kept secret.”