Dr. Crawford Named Provost at Black Hills State University

Author: BHSU Communications/Friday, April 15, 2016/Categories: 2016

Dr. Chris Crawford, associate provost at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan., has been selected as the new provost and vice president for academic affairs at Black Hills State University.

Crawford has a remarkable record as a higher education leader, is a prolific writer with an impressive list of scholarly publications, is committed to student success, and has successfully demonstrated his ability to think and act proactively to lead higher education units. He is noted for his strong interpersonal and communication skills as well as his collaborative approach to solving problems and creating opportunities.

Crawford has spent most of his higher educational career at Ft. Hays State University. In the last decade he has been involved in nearly every process related to the chief academic officer, either directly or as a facilitative staff member. For nearly two years he served as interim provost successfully leading the academic unit for the institution which has 14,000 students, more than 350 faculty (plus another 250 adjuncts), and several academic support units. He also has dean and director level experience. Prior to joining the administration, Crawford taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate communications courses.

 "We are ecstatic. Dr. Crawford is an extremely talented professor and administrator that has helped make his current university stand out nationally." Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., BHSU president, said. "With his strong academic credentials and positive demeanor, we look forward to his collegial academic leadership."

Crawford expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to serve as provost at BHSU and noted that he is looking forward to becoming a part of the community.

"From the moment I stepped foot on the Black Hills State campus I felt comfortable.  I received the warmest of receptions from everyone at BHSU.  I'm excited and eager to address both challenges and opportunities facing the institution and the region," Crawford said. "I'm so pleased to be selected to serve BHSU as provost and vice president of academic affairs, serving as an engaged partner with a great administrative team and faculty."

Crawford has a Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Kansas, a master's degree and bachelor's degree from Fort Hays State University. He has also earned several certifications from the NCA/Higher Learning Commission. He has published (with coauthors) more than a dozen books, nearly 50 scholarly articles in refereed journals, and many scholarly publications and presentations for professional conferences. He is a member of international, national and regional professional organizations and has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career.

He has served as a consultant on over 50 professional development sessions in the last 20 years. Crawford's areas of expertise include higher education quality improvement, organizational leadership, innovation and information technology, knowledge management, organizational communication and culture, social cognition, and argumentation and debate.

As a professor and academic leader, Crawford is known for proactively developing new courses in the communication field. He is also recognized for his ability to skillfully and clearly communicate vision and strategy, passion, innovation, and engagement with consistency, integrity, and appreciation for the work of university employees.  

In Hays, Crawford serves on many community and campus committees. He also volunteers time to serve as moderator for a community lecture series and as a judge and tournament administrator for high school debate and forensics.

Crawford replaces Dr. Rod Custer who is stepping away from the provost role but will remain at BHSU to lead ongoing accreditation initiatives, conduct work on a NSF science education grant, and other special projects. Custer has served as provost at BHSU since 2011.

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