July 04, 2023

Top academic leaders promoted

When Provost and Dean of the College Eric Boynton was named Scott Bierman’s successor as college president, Beloit was in need of a new provost, the college’s chief academic officer.

Donna Oliver

Donna Oliver, left, with Eric Boynton. Donna Oliver, left, with Eric Boynton.
Credit: Alex Garcia
Donna Oliver, Martha Peterson Professor for Distinguished Faculty Service and Director of Community-Based Learning
, is especially prepared to step up during this transition, after serving most recently as special assistant to the provost. Oliver will assume the role of provost and dean of the college for the coming academic year. A beloved Russian and comparative literature professor at the college, Oliver holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures from Northwestern University and a B.A. in Russian and international studies from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Ron Watson

Ron Watson Ron Watson
Credit: Megan O'Leary
Associate Professor of Political Science and Health and Society Ron Watson
will assume the role of associate provost. Watson was recently named an Associated Colleges of the Midwest Academic Leadership Fellow, allowing him to support faculty members as they assume leadership roles and advance the demographic transformation of academic administration at its highest level. As associate provost, Watson will work closely with Oliver and associate deans Amy Briggs and Yaffa Grossman. Watson earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Mexico, M.A.s from the University of New Mexico and the University of Notre Dame in political science and international peace studies, respectively, and a B.A. in religious studies from the College of William & Mary.


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  • John H. McDonnell, Professor Emeritus of Education

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  • Donna Oliver, left, with Eric Boynton.

    Top academic leaders promoted

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