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President Oliver announces three key leadership promotions

Ben Mitchell, Bryan Carrier and Michele Atkins assume new leadership positions at the start of the 2014-15 academic year.
Ben Mitchell, Bryan Carrier and Michele Atkins assume new leadership positions at the start of the 2014-15 academic year.

JACKSON, Tenn.Aug. 18, 2014 – Union University President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver has announced three key promotions at the start of the 2014-15 academic year.

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs C. Ben Mitchell has been named to the position permanently. Mitchell also retains his previous title as Graves professor of moral philosophy. He took the provost position on an interim basis June 4.

“As I remarked when Ben Mitchell was appointed earlier this summer, he is an excellent scholar and teacher who embodies our core values and Christ-centered mission at Union,” Oliver said. “His leadership during these past two months has advanced our work tremendously, and I am thrilled that he will be a significant part of shaping our work together in the months and years ahead.”

Mitchell is one of the most respected ethicists in evangelical life. He has contributed chapters to 25 books and has written dozens of articles and reviews.

He received his doctorate in philosophy with a concentration in medical ethics from the University of Tennessee. He has done additional study in genetics for non-scientists at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., and has twice been visiting scholar at Green College, the medical college of Oxford University.

“Union University consists of some extraordinary leaders, including our new president, Dub Oliver,” Mitchell said. “It’s a high honor to be able to serve him, my colleagues, and our students through this office.”

Oliver also announced that Interim Vice President for Student Life Bryan Carrier has been named to his position permanently.

“Bryan Carrier is thoughtful and insightful, he is trusted and trustworthy, he is a servant leader, and his philosophy of student life work is spot on for what we are pursuing at Union,” Oliver said.

Carrier said he is both honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve the university and its students in this role.

“I count it a privilege to serve with what is arguably one of the best Student Life teams in the country,” Carrier said. “Further, I am continually amazed by the quality of the students at Union University. The Lord has blessed us and continues to show His favor upon the Union University community.”

Oliver has given Professor of Education Michele Atkins the additional title of assistant provost for accreditation and research. Atkins will play a key role in managing the Union’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaffirmation, a process that runs in a 10-year cycle. Union’s last reaffirmation was completed in 2007.

“Michele Atkins is widely respected for her gifts as a teacher, researcher, and administrator. In addition to serving as our Accreditation Liaison with SACSCOC, she will assist our academic units with discipline specific accreditations. Additionally, she will lead our Institutional Review Board process and find ways to encourage and enhance research among all of us at Union.”

"I am truly humbled to lead alongside scholars who daily live out their Christianity through interactions with students, faculty, staff, and constituencies,” Atkins said. “I am excited about working with the Union community to guide accreditation efforts and enhance research."

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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