Dr. Matthew L. Prineas will be joining Athabasca University as the institution’s inaugural Provost and Vice-president, Academic. Dr. Prineas will take up his duties in early September.
Dr. Prineas currently serves as Vice Provost and Dean of the Undergraduate School (TUS) at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in Largo, Maryland. The Undergraduate School at UMUC services 65,000 learners in an online and face-to-face environment. In total, Dr. Prineas oversees 31 academic programs and more than 2000 faculty and staff in a semi-distributed workforce.
In addition to being a tenured faculty member, Dr. Prineas has a track record of progressive leadership roles in an academic environment that is very similar to AU. Matt has served as a Director of an On-line Writing Center, a Program Chair, an Assistant Provost, and a Vice Dean before taking on his role as Vice Provost. He is a well-respected leader at UMUC. His leadership style and approach match that which is needed at Athabasca University.
Dr. Neil Fassina, President of AU, says the search committee found and ideal candidate in Dr. Prineas.
Matt will bring strong academic and operational leadership to the university. He has demonstrated experience as an inclusive, consultative, and thoughtful leader and decision maker. He has demonstrated commitment to learners and to colleagues, and he brings extensive leadership experience through transformative change.”
The crucial role of the Provost
Dr. Fassina says the role will be crucial as AU begins to implement the recommendations of Dr. Ken Coates’ third-party report into the university, released earlier this month. That report, in part, calls for AU to re-focus on its academic mission as an open university and re-dedicate itself to leadership in educational innovation.
Leadership for AU
He says Dr. Prineas brings extensive leadership experience in transformative change to AU, having been a key member of the leadership team at UMUC as it underwent a recent three-year change process. That university introduced Open Educational Resources (OERs) to replace traditional textbooks, and created new, more efficient pathways for learners to obtain their degrees.
Dr. Prineas has a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Rochester, and has held a number of senior academic positions ranging from tenured professor to Dean.