Karen Head Named Augusta University Vice Provost

Posted April 25, 2023

Karen J. Head, founding director of the Naugle Communication Center and former tenured professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC), has been named associate provost for Faculty Affairs at Augusta University, a University System of Georgia institution. Head will assume her post on July 1. 

Head resigned her tenured position at Georgia Tech in 2021 to become director of the Center for Creativity and Innovation and professor of English and technical communication at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She retains an adjunct appointment in the School.

“I am honored to have been selected to lead the Office of Faculty Affairs at Augusta University. As a native Georgian, I am excited to return and contribute to the state system that helped transform my life,” Head said in an Augusta University news release

At Augusta, Head will lead the office responsible for all aspects of faculty life, from the policies and processes that create the framework for the faculty experience to the programs and celebrations that support and engage faculty members. 

“We are excited that Dr. Head will be coming home to Georgia and become our next associate provost for Faculty Affairs,” said Zach Kelehear, vice provost for instruction and innovation and professor in the Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation in the College of Education and Human Development. 

Head spent 17 years at Georgia Tech and LMC. She was a driving force behind the establishment of the Communication Center, a state-of-the-art research and student support center that continues its innovative mission today. In that role, she was frequently consulted about writing/communication center design, redesign, theory, and practice, again focusing on technology-based pedagogy. In 2019, she was honored with the Georgia Tech Outstanding Service Award, the highest award in service granted by the institute. 

Head’s background in and advocacy for the liberal arts and humanities provides the foundation for her work. Her scholarly output spans several disciplines, including fine arts, education, social science, and broad-based humanities. 

“Dr. Head’s experience in interdisciplinary collaboration will serve her well as she works to support our faculty who span a wide swath of backgrounds,” said Neil J. MacKinnon, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. 

Head is also editor of the Atlanta Review, secretary of the Poetry Atlanta Board, poet laureate of Fulton County, Georgia, and a visiting scholar and artist at Technische-Universität-Dortmund in Germany. She also was named Waffle House poet laureate, a title that reflects her outreach program to use the arts to encourage students in rural high schools to consider paths toward college. 

A version of this story, written by Milledge Austin, first appeared on April 19 on the Augusta University website. 

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