New provost Alan Silva; formerly dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences and College for Women. Photo by Rebecca Zenefski '10 / By Rebecca Studios.
President ReBecca Roloff announced today that Alan Silva has accepted the position of Executive Vice President and Provost of St. Catherine University, effective immediately.
Silva joined St. Kate's as the dean of arts and sciences in 2006, following a national search. He effectively served as interim provost since February 2017, providing leadership during Colleen Hegranes' medical leave, and then stepped into the official interim role upon her retirement in early July.
"I have seen how hard Alan fights for what he believes, and how deeply he cares about our students' success and our tripartite mission," wrote President Roloff in a letter to the community. "I I have seen his strength and compassion for doing what is right even when it is difficult ... Alan has a proven track record for balancing his focus on student life and needs with his knowledge of the needs, strengths and governance of the academy."
As provost, Silva reports directly to the president, oversees the University's three colleges, and promotes the important, student-centered initiatives of faculty and deans. This role, noted President Roloff in her message, "is central to St. Catherine’s stability and it is key to our future in a time of significant change in higher education."
Originally from California, Silva received his bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, Fresno, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in English from the University of California, Davis. An accomplished teacher of composition, film studies, literary theory, and American literature, he has published on colonial American literature, film, and various aspects of higher education, including faculty development and academic leadership.
In his time at St. Kate's, Silva has worked closely with faculty and staff to develop new liberal arts programs, a cluster of academic excellence initiatives, including the collaborative undergraduate research program, and a university-wide plan for internationalizing the curriculum and co-curriculum.
A strong proponent of community engagement and service-learning, he co-chaired the Carnegie Engagement Classification process. With his long-standing commitment to multiple forms of diversity, he currently serves as the co-chair of the Equity and Inclusion Matrix. In 2013, he led a highly successful institutional reaccreditation process that resulted in a glowing evaluation from the Higher Learning Commission.