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Mercy College Appoints Peter West, Ph.D. Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Peter West

Mercy College announced today that it has appointed Peter West, Ph.D., as the Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The interim appointment follows the recent announcement that Provost José Herrera has been named Provost and Executive Vice President at the University of Northern Iowa and will leave Mercy this summer. West currently serves as Mercy’s Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and will assume his new role on July 1. During this transition period, Andrés Matías-Ortiz will serve as Interim Dean and Narasim Banavara will serve as Interim  Associate Dean for the School of Liberal Arts.

As the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, West has served on several college-wide committees, including the President’s Cabinet and has worked with his school faculty on a number of initiatives focused on student success, including the design and implementation of a new co-requisite model for first-year math. Prior to joining Mercy, West spent 12 years at Adelphi University, where he served as Associate Provost for Student Success and Associate Dean for General Education. In these roles, he collaborated with faculty, academic leaders and student support offices to establish a coordinated and equity-minded structure for helping all students achieve their academic and professional goals. 

“I am pleased to welcome Dean West as the Interim Provost during such a pivotal time for Mercy College,” said Tim Hall, Mercy College President.  “His distinguished background and his commitment to student achievement will ensure that the College is able to continue to provide the best academic offerings and support while we conduct a national search for our next Provost. We are grateful to José Herrera and thank him for his commitment to Mercy College over the past four years.”

“This has been a year of crisis and disruption due to COVID-19 and I look forward to providing stability and leadership so that Mercy can focus on positive student outcomes and conduct a comprehensive search for the permanent Provost,” said Peter West, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts.

Prior to joining Adelphi, West served as assistant professor of English at the University of Wyoming and visiting assistant professor of English at Emory University. He holds a doctorate in English from Emory University and a bachelor’s degree with honors in English from Wesleyan University.

West has published two major works: The Arbiters of Reality: Hawthorne, Melville, and the Rise of Mass Information Culture (2008), which was rereleased in paperback in 2015, and The Panorama: Texts and Contexts, 1787-1900 (2013), a five-volume collection he co-edited and authored with a team of international collaborators. He is also the author of numerous other scholarly publications on 19th-century literature and culture.

Outside of his work, West is deeply involved with community outreach, devoting his time to meeting with local nonprofits, community organizations, museums and corporate partners.