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Fulton selected vice provost

By David Nutter

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 34 - June 27, 1996

John D. Fulton, dean of the University of Missouri-Rolla's College of Arts and Sciences, has been named vice provost for academic affairs at Virginia Tech, university Provost Peggy Meszaros has announced.

"Dr. Fulton brings to the position a broad range of professional and administrative experience," said Meszaros. "An accomplished mathematical educator still active in his profession, he has held leadership positions at the University of West Florida and Clemson University."

But the Fultons are no strangers to Virginia. John Fulton was born in Norton and his wife, Marie, is a native of Coeburn. Fulton's father still lives in Norton and other family members live throughout the region.

Fulton has been dean at University of Missouri at Rolla since 1991. UMR's College of Arts and Sciences has 11 academic departments and 177 faculty members. Last fall, enrollment in UMR's College of Arts and Sciences was 1,107--22 percent of UMR's total on-campus enrollment of 4,984.

"The challenge at a great university like Virginia Tech, is to build a learning community that is inclusive of all groups," said Fulton. "That is a long-term goal. But by setting objectives we can achieve that lofty goal."

Fulton also said that he looks forward to helping Virginia Tech fulfill its land-grant mission. "People are not aware that land-grant institutions were chartered by law for the faculty to do research. Land-grant universities fueled the growth of the middle class in this country."

Before coming to Missouri's technological university, Fulton served for three years at the University of West Florida as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The Pensacola-based college consisted of 18 academic departments spanning the arts and humanities and the natural, social, and behavioral sciences.

After receiving his undergraduate degree, master's, and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Fulton began his academic career in 1967 as an assistant professor of mathematics at Clemson University. Fulton quickly rose through the ranks to become an associate professor and professor at Clemson. He was named head of the mathematical sciences department in 1978, where he served for 10 years.

Throughout his professional career, Fulton has been active in the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). At various times he has chaired the association's Committee on Guidelines, Committee on Accreditation, and accreditation review teams that reviewed departments of mathematics at Mississippi State University, Utah State University, CUNY Brooklyn College, SUNY Buffalo State, and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, California.

The vice provost serves as chief deputy to the provost, with wide-ranging responsibililties, including managing strategic enrollment services, coordinating faculty development, and oversight of academic support units. Meszaros has also asked Fulton to give leadership to the development of an enrollment-management model for undergraduate students, as a first priority.