FLORENCE---Former FMU professor Richard N. Chapman, of the State University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Ga., has been named the new provost at Francis Marion University.
The announcement was made Monday, Jan. 24, by FMU President Fred Carter. Carter said Chapman will take over as provost July 1. He succeeds Joseph E. Heyward, who has served as interim provost since the resignation of Provost Hubert Maultsby in August 1998. The provost is the university’s chief academic officer.
Selected from 70 applicants for the position, Chapman was one of four finalists brought to the campus in recent weeks for extensive interviews with faculty, staff and administrative leadership. Chapman also will serve as dean of the College of Liberal Arts. His credentials will be presented to the faculty of the Political Science, History and Geography Department for consideration as a tenured professor of history.
“I am pleased that Dr. Chapman has agreed to return to FMU in this extremely important capacity,” said President Fred Carter. “He has proven himself as a distinguished scholar, teacher and administrator at several institutions and brings a wealth of talent and experience to this position.”
“I welcome the opportunity to return to FMU, and I am especially pleased to be associated with a dynamic president like Fred Carter,” he said. “I am excited about the FMU position and look forward to working with the splendid faculty, staff, and administration to make this fine university even stronger."
A native of Sikeston, Mo., Chapman earned an undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis and two master’s degrees and a doctorate from Yale University. His major field of research and teaching is 20th century United States political and economic history. Chapman first came to FMU in 1989 as the A.R. Avent Professor of History, serving as department chairman until 1996 when he was appointed director of the Honors Program. He left FMU in 1999 to become chairman of the Department of History at the State University of West Georgia. He has taught at Yale University, Wells College in Aurora, N.Y., Meramec Community College in St. Louis, Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, and at the University of Hartford in Connecticut.
At each campus, Chapman has held a number of committee appointments, including secretary of the faculty and chair of the Humanities Division at Wells College. His academic honors include a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, a Yale University Fellowship and a Yale Prize for excellence in teaching. He also is a recipient of three National Endowment for the Humanities awards.
The author of numerous publications, Chapman’s “Federal Housing Laws During the 1960s” in The Sixties in America, was published by Salem Press in 1999. Among his many professional presentations, while at FMU, he conducted a forum on “The Greying of South Carolina” and was project director for a television series on local history. His works have been published in the Oxford University Press Companion to the Second World War Encyclopedia USA: The Encyclopedia of the United States of America—Past and Present and in the Journal of American History.
Chapman is married to the former Marilyn Conrad of Sikeston, Mo., and they have one son, Keith, a junior at Davidson College.