02/22/08 — MOC appoints Arant provost

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MOC appoints Arant provost

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 22, 2008 1:54 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- As part of its new leadership development plan, Mount Olive College has created a new position and hired a veteran educator from Kentucky to be responsible for the internal operations.

Dr. T.J. Arant has been named provost, a role he took over last month.

A year ago, the MOC Board of Trustees and Dr. J. William Byrd, president of MOC, laid out the development plan of leadership for the college, which included the newest leadership position. Byrd also announced he would be stepping aside as president, to instead assume duties as chancellor.

The board is implementing a carefully designed plan to guide the college through the transition, Byrd said.

"The goal is to maintain the climate of progress that has characterized the history of the institution with no loss of momentum," he said. "Mount Olive College has provided great opportunity for growth and development of learners seeking an environment for study in which faith and values are celebrated."

The move comes at a pivotal time in the life of the college, Byrd said.

"The growth of the college in every regard has been phenomenal and has therefore placed increasing demands on the institution with regards to leadership and management," he said. "Dr. Arant brings a wealth of experiences which will complement the array of talent already present within the MOC faculty and staff."

Arant has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, including chief academic officer, chief student affairs officer, development director and an executive in charge of a consortium of nine liberal arts colleges located in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. His bachelor's degree was earned at Vanderbilt University and he holds a master's degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and his Ph.D. from Duke University. He has worked and taught at Notre Dame College, Appalachian State University, Duke University, UNC-Chapel and Vanderbilt University.

Arant said he embarked on a career in higher education because of his love for learning and students.

"Everything we do, we do because we want them to become all that they can be," he said, noting that he is excited about his newest chapter at MOC.

"This is a special place and it has been a leader in re-imagining the ways in which people can access a college education," he said.

Next on the college's agenda is to begin its search for a new president. Once completed, Dr. Byrd will be appointed chancellor.