Kerry Pannell named new provost at Presbyterian College

Kerry Pannell named new provost at Presbyterian College

Presbyterian College announced this week that Dr. Kerry Pannell will join the College’s administration as its new provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“We are thrilled and fortunate to welcome Dr. Pannell to campus as PC’s chief academic officer,” said PC president Dr. Matthew vandenBerg. “Dr. Pannell prevailed in a nationwide search that attracted an exceptionally deep pool of qualified and accomplished candidates. During her visit to campus, she impressed stakeholders with her remarkable academic accomplishments, research experience, and extraordinary track record of success in advancing the academic missions of private liberal arts colleges.”

Pannell, presently the vice president for academic programs at the Council of Independent Colleges in Washington, D.C., will assume her new role at PC this summer.

Pannell earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Colorado-Boulder, graduating magna cum laude as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University in 1997, where she also was honored with the Centennial Teaching Assistant Award in 1991. She also taught at Bowdoin College, Kiev Polytechnic Institute and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

She began a long tenure at DePauw University in Indiana in 1997, where she taught in the department of economics and management and was named the Q.G. Noblitt Professor of Economics in 2008 before serving as dean of the faculty from 2009-12. During her tenure at DePauw, she also coordinated the Consortium for Faculty Diversity at Liberal Arts Colleges, leading efforts to increase pre- and post-doctoral fellowships for diverse graduate students interested in academic careers at liberal arts colleges. She was the recipient of the DePauw United Methodist Church Exemplary Teaching Award in 2008.

In 2013, Pannell joined the administration at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga., as the associate vice president for academic affairs and associate dean of the faculty. She received a promotion to vice president for academic affairs in 2015, serving there until 2019, when she joined the Council of Independent Colleges as an administrator.

“I am excited to be joining the Presbyterian College community and President vandenBerg’s dynamic leadership team,” she said. “During my campus visit, I was extremely impressed by the talented faculty and staff who are deeply committed to PC students’ success. Everyone I met is living PC’s mission of faith and service.”

Pannell said she also believes that she and PC are a good match.

“Presbyterian College’s mission of lifelong service aligns with my personal philosophy of leadership,” she said. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support a growing community of learners, one that innovates and values bold ideas as the bedrock of an excellent college education.”

Throughout her career, Pannell has championed diversity in academia. She continues to teach and conduct research on economic pedagogy. She also writes on issues of higher education, immigration and the liberal arts.

Pannell currently serves as vice president on the board of directors for Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services (LARS), a nonprofit in Maryland. LARS provides resources and support to vulnerable Laurel residents who need food or have housing-insecurity with the goal of helping these community members achieve stability and long-term self-sufficiency. She also is an avid scuba diver and amateur calligrapher.

Pannell and her husband, Dr. David Worthington, DePauw University Emeritus Professor of Communication and Theatre, will move to Clinton in June with their four dogs — Boomer, Cooper, Gus and Max.

“We eagerly anticipate the arrival of our phenomenally talented new colleague, who fully embraces PC’s history and traditions and embodies PC’s values,” said vandenBerg. “She joins a strong and collaborative leadership team and will help us to pursue a bright and distinctive future for PC.”

President vandenBerg also praised the work of the provost search committee.

“The entire PC community is grateful for the dedication and diligence of our search committee members, whose work enabled this tremendously successful outcome.”

The 12-member group, assisted by the executive search firm CarterBaldwin, included:

  • Dr. Bob Bryant, committee vice chair and professor of religion
  • Dr. Alicia Askew ’92, dean of academic programs and professor of psychology
  • Dr. Stuart Gordon, professor of biology
  • Dr. Sharon Knight, professor of Spanish and director of the Quality Enhancement Plan
  • Dr. Erin McAdams, associate professor of political science
  • Elton Pollock ’95, head baseball coach
  • Dr. Austin Shull ’11, assistant professor of biology
  • Dr. Eileen Ward, professor of pharmacy
  • Dr. Joe Weber, director and associate professor of physician assistant studies
  • Tommy Lawson ’71, representative of the board of trustees
  • Brad Bryant ’75, representative of the board of trustees