Dr. Monica Cowart Named Next Vice President of Academic Affairs

Lebanon Valley College has named Dr. Monica R. Cowart, vice provost of Merrimack College, as its next vice president of academic affairs effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Cowart will succeed the current vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty Dr. Michael Green, who is retiring at the end of May. 

Dr. Cowart brings to the College a strong background in academic affairs, along with expertise in building online and graduate education programs, enrollment management, strategic planning, and fundraising. During her 19-year tenure at Merrimack, the college grew from 2,500 to more than 4,500 students. Before becoming vice provost, she served as associate dean of the school of liberal arts, founding director of the interdisciplinary institute, and chair of the philosophy department.

“Dr. Cowart is collaborative and strategic. She understands our mission and our transformative potential as an educational institution,” said Lebanon Valley College president Dr. Lewis E. Thayne. “Everyone in the LVC community looks forward to her arrival and her leadership as we prepare the students of the future for success in a world that needs their skills.”  

While at Merrimack, Dr. Cowart launched innovative data-driven programs, including online degrees, to create a dynamic, student-centered learning environment. She has worked on global education initiatives, developed an Honors Program curriculum, and led efforts to improve retention.

“During my campus visit I was impressed by the passion of the faculty, the dedication of the administrators, the energy of the students and the overall sense of community,” said Dr. Cowart. “I was instantly reminded of why I entered this profession. I'm looking forward to being part of an important anchor institution in a vibrant region.”

In 2017–18, she spent a year traveling to more than 45 institutions across the U.S. and globe as an American Council on Education Fellow. She met with presidents and senior leadership teams to discuss topics including the direction of higher education, diversity and inclusion, data analytics, global initiatives, and revenue diversification. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy with research honors from Illinois Wesleyan University, a graduate certificate in women’s studies from the University of Georgia, and a master’s in counseling psychology from Lesley University. She completed her doctorate in the philosophy of psychology with a dissertation on embodied cognition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.