WEST LIBERTY - West Liberty University announced its new provost Brian L. Crawford on Tuesday in the Boyle Conference Center on the university's main campus.
A Wheeling resident, Crawford has worked at West Liberty University for 14 years, starting as an instructor of geography in 1999.
He served as chair of the department of social and behavioral sciences before being named dean of liberal arts in 2010. Crawford is a retired Air Force captain and served in the military for 15 years. He has taught at Ohio University, Indiana State University, the University of Kentucky and Allan Hancock College.
"I'm honored, I'm flattered and I'm very excited about the opportunity," Crawford said. "I really appreciate what this institution is and what it has done for the region. I think it has done a wonderful service for a long time and I think we can move that forward and we can be even more important to a larger region."
Crawford said one of his objectives will be to look at expanding graduate and undergraduate programs at the university that will "be attractive to students and help prepare them for their futures."
"Over the last couple of days I've made quite a long list of things I'd like to explore and want to work on," Crawford said. "I think we're at a point where we're ready to begin really expanding."
WLU's John McCullough had been serving as interim provost since October filling the spot of Anthony Koyzis, who served as provost for 16 months before being reassigned to serve as special assistant to President Robin C. Capehart.
According to Capehart, the university since has been searching for a candidate who is "of great character" and "thoughtful, yet decisive."
"We are at a critical time in the history of our institution, a time of many challenges, yet a time of limitless opportunities," Capehart said. "We were looking for someone as we enter a time of uncertainty of financing higher education. With diminishing state support, we were looking for someone that will be able to come in and grasp the complexities of higher education, establish priorities, make decisions and has an understanding of the unique structure of higher education and someone who shares our vision of producing college educated people. It takes a while."