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Paul Gore named newest provost at Bellarmine University following retirement of Carole Pfeffer


Bellarmine University’s president, Dr. Susan M. Donovan, has selected Dr. Paul Gore as the university’s next vice president for academic affairs and provost. Gore, currently dean of Xavier University’s College of Professional Sciences and a professor of psychology, will begin his new duties at Bellarmine on July 1.

Donovan noted that Gore’s experience aligns closely with Bellarmine’s mission. In addition to his background in Catholic liberal arts education in his current deanship at Xavier, Gore attended Catholic primary and secondary schools and earned two degrees from Jesuit universities. Donovan added that Gore not only understands Bellarmine’s inclusive mission to develop the whole student — mind, body and spirit — but will live it and nurture it across the institution.

“The alignment between his personal and our institutional values gives me great confidence that he will animate those values in his effort to support students, staff and faculty,” said Donovan.

Dr. Paul Gore

Bellarmine’s provost is the university’s chief academic officer, serving as a member of the president’s cabinet. The provost oversees the faculty in Bellarmine’s colleges and schools and has primary responsibility for maintaining the university’s academic accreditations.

“We took a thoughtful, deliberative approach to our search for Bellarmine’s next vice president and provost, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome,” said Donovan. “Paul Gore will be a champion for Bellarmine’s outstanding faculty. He brings significant, proven leadership experience and energy that will be invaluable as we finalize and implement a new strategic plan that refocuses and expands Bellarmine’s commitment to academic inquiry and mastery.”

Gore has led Xavier’s College of Professional Sciences since 2015, overseeing 13 academic schools, departments and centers in the areas of social science, health and education. The college offers 14 undergraduate and 26 graduate professional programs, ranging from reading instruction and psychology to athletic training and nursing. As dean, he oversees 180 full-time faculty and staff who teach more than 3,200 students. He serves as a member of Xavier President Michael J. Graham’s cabinet.

At Xavier, Gore oversaw double-digit enrollment increases in his college, launched nine academic programs and led an academic team in the programming and design of a new 160,000-square-foot Health United Building that will open this fall.

“I’m excited to join President Donovan and my new faculty colleagues as we work together to articulate and deliver Bellarmine’s future,” said Gore. “I believe my background in student success, data-driven institutional research, undergraduate and graduate educational leadership and community partnerships – combined with my understanding of national issues facing higher education — have uniquely prepared me for the exciting opportunity to serve as Bellarmine’s provost. We will cultivate Bellarmine’s existing strengths while bolstering and communicating the university’s distinctive vision of academic excellence.”

Before arriving at Xavier in 2015, Gore served as director of the University of Utah’s Office of Institutional Research for nearly a decade, coinciding with an appointment as an associate professor and then professor in the department of educational psychology. As an assistant professor of psychology at Southern Illinois University, he also served as co-director of the first-year experience program. He has more than 20 years of undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience at public and private universities, and also worked for ACT Inc. as director of the career transitions research department.

Gore holds a doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Loyola University; master’s degrees in guidance and counseling from Northeastern Illinois University and applied biopsychology from the University of New Orleans; and bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology from Saint Louis University. He is a licensed psychologist in Ohio.

In 2013, Gore was named an Emerging Leaders Fellow at the American Council on Education, the nation’s premier higher education leadership development program. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for College and University Planning, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

“I am certain that Paul Gore is the right person at the right moment for Bellarmine’s continued growth,” said Donald Berg, co-chair of the provost search committee and a member of Bellarmine’s Board of Trustees. “He is a leader who will work collaboratively with faculty and engage with the community to ensure that the college’s academic programs align with the needs of our region. Bellarmine is proud of its reputation for having distinguished faculty who are deeply invested in the success of their students. With Paul as provost, that tradition is in fine hands.” Berg also noted that Gore is regarded as an effective fundraiser for programs in his college at Xavier.

“Paul impressed the search committee as someone who embraces Bellarmine’s mission and values, with an emphasis on innovative education delivery, effective fiscal stewardship and faculty development, ” said Dr. Helen-Grace Ryan, Bellarmine’s vice president for student affairs and co-chair of the provost search committee. “His commitment to inclusion particularly resonated with students, who will benefit from his experience and his tremendous passion for higher education. I look forward to working with him in pursuit of great futures for Bellarmine’s students.”

Ryan said that Gore was selected through an extensive national search that brought three finalists to campus in February. That process allowed faculty, staff and students to meet Gore and submit feedback to Donovan.

Dr. Carole Pfeffer retiring

Gore’s appointment follows Dr. Carole Pfeffer’s announcement that she will retire as provost at the end of the current academic year, after 30 years of service at Bellarmine.

“The Bellarmine community owes Carole tremendous gratitude for her distinguished role as an educator and leader at Bellarmine,” said Donovan. “I’m very grateful that she agreed to delay her retirement to lead our successful 10-year reaccreditation review with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.” Bellarmine reaffirmed its accreditation last year.

Pfeffer came to Bellarmine as an English instructor in 1989. She moved from the English Department into academic administration in 2008, and has served as provost since 2014.

From Bellarmine University


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