Following a national search, Oglethorpe University President Nick Ladany has named Dr. Kathryn McClymond as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, starting July 19.
Dr. McClymond is currently Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs in the College of Arts & Sciences at Georgia State University, where she has been a faculty member for 22 years. She also is a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and served as chair for nine years.
As chief academic officer and a member of the senior administrative leadership team, Dr. McClymond will oversee all academic affairs and faculty, as well as the Office of the Registrar, Academic Success, Weltner Library, and the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art.
“I’m very excited to join the extraordinary students, faculty, and staff at Oglethorpe University,” said Dr. McClymond. “I was drawn to Oglethorpe because of its commitments to student learning, the liberal arts, and the advancement of diversity and equity. I’m looking forward to supporting and showcasing Oglethorpe’s contributions to national conversations about higher education.”
“Dr. McClymond brings a wealth of administrative and academic experiences to the position of Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, including her extensive work in areas of faculty development and mentorship, and student support,” said President Ladany.
At Georgia State, Dr. McClymond has led faculty and staff teams to advance program growth, student support, and faculty development and mentoring. She also has directed ongoing faculty recruitment, retention, and recognition efforts.
Dr. McClymond’s faculty development portfolio includes launching new programming for faculty mentoring and department chair training, as well as new strategies to diversify the faculty. While part of the College’s Equity, Engagement, and Mentoring working group, Dr. McClymond developed a job posting network and recruitment strategy to attract diverse applicant pools; built a search committee and search advocate training programs; and established goals for department faculty hiring.
Within the College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. McClymond was instrumental in data-informed strategic planning efforts that reimagined the vision for undergraduate and master’s level liberal arts degrees, and in turn informed faculty hiring, resource allocation, and curriculum development. New programs and initiatives created under her tenure include a Concentration in Nonprofit Management and an alumni advisory board that contributes expertise, networking opportunities, and financial support.
She has helped Georgia State establish a national reputation for building innovative community partnerships in support of students, including a model partnership with WellStar Health Systems that provides opportunities for students seeking careers in health care. Additionally, a reevaluation of student advisement structure and intervention has led to new strategies to identify “milestone moments” and more effectively support student progression, improving graduation rates and career preparation.
Dr. McClymond is a historian of religions, trained in Hinduism and Judaism, with a research emphasis on comparative religious ritual. She is the author of “Beyond Sacred Violence: A Comparative Study of Sacrifice” (Johns Hopkins University Press) and, most recently, “Ritual Gone Wrong: Case Studies in Ritual Disruption” (Oxford University Press), which examines ritual mistakes, sabotage, and disruption and their significance for ritual theory. Her recent research projects focus on religious rituals as a pathway to recovery for combat veterans, and ritual expressions in art quilts.
Dr. McClymond is a member of the American Society for the Study of Religion and has served on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Religion. She currently chairs the AAR’s Futures Task Force, leading conversations about opportunities for innovation and growth in the professional organization. Dr. McClymond has received several awards for her work, including a Distinguished Honors Professor Award, an Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Arts & Sciences at Georgia State University, and the American Academy of Religion’s Ray L. Hart Service Award.
She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University.
In his announcement, President Ladany offered special thanks to members of the search committee: Dr. Amanda Whooley (Co-Chair), Pete Stobie (Co-Chair), Dr. Cassandra Copeland, Dr. Andrew Walden, Dr. Reshmi Hebbar, Dr. Kristen Clayton, Dr. Lynn Geiger, Cecil Rose, trustee Clifford Foster ’11, and student Justin Bennett ’22.