Alden-Rivers Named Associate Provost for Academic Effectiveness and Student Success at Southeast

Dr. Bethany Alden-Rivers, assistant vice president of teaching and learning at Utah Valley University (UVU), has been named associate provost for academic effectiveness and student success at Southeast Missouri State University effective June 1. In her new role, she will be responsible for leading and coordinating campus-wide program-level assessment, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation process and the academic program review process. She also will coordinate retention initiatives with the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success and oversee the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning/Office of Instructional Technology, the Center for Advising and Career Services, the Center for Writing Excellence and Testing Services. In addition, she will serve as liaison with the Provost’s Office for the University’s general education program, University Studies; the UI100 Experience, Southeast’s freshman orientation seminar; and the Jane Stephens Honors Program. “There is so much we can do to support student success through the way we design, facilitate and assess learning, as well as through the way we help students navigate their higher education experience,” Alden-Rivers said.  “I was attracted to this role because it brings together several key areas within the institution to help students achieve their educational goals.” “I am deeply honored to be invited to serve Southeast Missouri State University as Associate Provost for Academic Effectiveness and Student Success. I am impressed by the University's commitment to its students and to its community,” she added. “President Vargas and Provost Kunkel have a clear, progressive, and student-centered agenda for the University, and I am thrilled to contribute toward this vision. Missouri is my home. I was raised in Rolla, and I lived in Springfield while I completed my studies at Missouri State University. What an opportunity this is to serve the faculty, staff and students of Southeast, and to return to my home state.” She said her new role presents an exciting opportunity to work collaboratively across the institution, to build on existing strengths and to influence positive change. She says she is looking forward to developing relationships with colleagues and serving as a resource for them and the institution. “I want to express my thanks to Dean Allen Gathman and the search committee for their excellent work assembling and narrowing the candidate pool for this important new position in Academic Affairs at Southeast,” said Dr. Karl Kunkel, Southeast provost. “The committee provided the campus with an extremely strong pool of finalists, each bringing significant experiences and skills.  Dr. Alden-Rivers rose to the top of a very competitive list of candidates.” Kunkel continued, “Dr. Alden-Rivers brings to Southeast very broad experience, from a number of higher education institutions both in the United States and abroad, with student success and faculty development initiatives, along with accreditation, student learning assessment and academic program review.” “I am excited to welcome Dr. Alden-Rivers as a member of the Academic Affairs team and look forward to her leadership in these areas, collaborating with her and faculty as we collectively pursue excellence in our academic programs and the success of Southeast students,” he said. In her current role at Utah Valley University, she and her team work to increase online, blended and competency-based courses and programs, and to support faculty who teach across these flexible modes. She and her team have also designed and implemented a robust, certified faculty development program at UVU, in partnership with the Higher Education Academy She previously worked as head of learning and teaching development for the University of Northampton, UK, and as a faculty member, faculty developer and project manager for the UK Open University. She comes to Southeast with 15 years of teaching experience in higher education, supporting diverse groups of traditional and non-traditional learners across the world. Alden-Rivers also spent a year as an instructor for accounting, management communications and statistics at Missouri State University’s China Campus in Dalian, China. “For most of my career, I have worked in the UK higher education sector, but I have also experienced higher education within a European, Chinese, and North American context. I feel fortunate to have a global perspective on higher education, as well as an international network of colleagues who constantly amaze and inspire me through the work they do,” she said. “Regardless of where you are in the world, many of the themes, challenges and opportunities in higher education are the same. I believe it is important to form positive, mutually beneficial relationships with colleagues at other institutions, globally and locally, so that we can learn from and support each other.” She is a practicing management coach, has been recognized as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy for excellence in teaching, and has a record of published scholarly work and funded research activity. She holds a Doctorate in Educational Technology and a Master of Research in Educational Technology, both from the UK Open University.  She also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Finance, both from Missouri State University. She and her husband, David, are the parents of a daughter, Josephine. They also have two dogs, Zeke and Max.