Joplin, MO (SNS) – Missouri Southern State University has announced that Dr. Paula Phillips Carson will serve as the institution’s new Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Carson, a longtime administrator at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, will officially join Missouri Southern this summer, overseeing all academic programming and faculty as the university’s chief academic officer.

She will step into the role following the upcoming retirement of Dr. Pat Lipira, who has served as Vice President for Academic Affairs since 2012.

“I am very excited Dr. Carson accepted our offer and that after such an extensive and effective career in higher education, she has agreed to bring her expertise to Missouri Southern,” said Dr. Alan Marble, president of MSSU.

Dr. Michael Garoutte, co-chair of the search committee for the Provost, said Carson “demonstrates great vision for the future of our academic programs. She is an excellent addition to our university.”

Carson has been with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette since 1991, and has served as their Assistant Vice President for Institutional Planning and Effectiveness since 2007. She was chosen for the position at MSSU after a national search.

“I am delighted to be joining MSSU at this exciting time, so rich with opportunities and possibilities. The University is deeply committed to student learning and the creation of knowledge, and I will work tirelessly to advance the aspirations of the faculty, staff and students,” said Carson.

“My family and I are thrilled about engaging with the Joplin community and the Southwest Missouri region. I am sincerely humbled by and appreciative of this invitation by the campus to become part of the Lion family.”

Carson graduated from Loyola University of the South in New Orleans, La., with a bachelor’s in business administration degree in 1987. She received her master’s in business administration degree in 1988 from Milsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and her Ph.D. in management in 1992 from Louisiana State University.

In her role at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Carson has been responsible for campus-wide strategic planning, implementation, deployment and tracking at the institutional and unit levels. She also developed and managed processes and infrastructure for assessment of outcomes and assurance of learning for more than 300 units and degree programs on campus, and worked closely with the deans, faculty and staff of all nine colleges on academic, budgetary and structural issues.

Her other previous posts include serving as Special Assistant to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration.