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Provost and Vice Chancellor

denise a battlesDenise A. Battles has served since July 2012 as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  A native of upstate New York, Battles received her baccalaureate degree in geology from Colgate University and Ph.D. in geology from the University of California Los Angeles.

Provost Battles began her academic career at Georgia Southern University, joining the faculty of the Department of Geology and Geography as an assistant professor of geology in 1990. While moving through the academic ranks at Georgia Southern to associate professor and professor, she served in numerous administrative capacities, including assistant dean and associate dean of the Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology. In 2005, she became the first (founding) dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado, a position she held until her UNCW appointment.

Provost Battles’ academic career has included numerous distinctions and leadership contributions at the national level. She completed the Management Development Program at the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education in 1999 and in the 2000-01 academic year she was an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow at Auburn University. In 2008-09, she served as president of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), the national higher education association serving deans of arts and sciences. While in the CCAS leadership role, she spearheaded a $1.2 million collaborative, multi-institutional ADVANCE grant project funded by the National Science Foundation, functioning as the grant PI. She has also served as a member of the Executive Board and Executive Committee of ACE’s Council of Fellows, co-chairing that organization’s Professional Development Committee from 2010-13. More recently, Dr. Battles has worked with colleague provosts on the development and implementation of a new national association serving chief academic officers, the Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO), and was elected as a founding officer upon that organization’s official launch in 2014.  She currently serves as ACAO’s Vice President / President-Elect, with a term of service through March 2016.  She also makes professional contributions as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.

Provost Battles has published extensively, both on her research areas in geology and on effective leadership and institutional change in higher education. In addition to her administrative appointment, Dr. Battles holds faculty status in UNCW’s Department of Geography and Geology.

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