MSU Moorhead Names New Provost, Senior VP Academic Affairs

JoeBesPicMSUM President Anne Blackhurst has named Joseph D. Bessie to be Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Bessie is currently a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Stout, where he also served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.

“Following a national search, Dr. Bessie emerged as the clear choice of the campus community,” Blackhurst said. “He is an experienced academic leader who has dedicated his career to realizing the transformative power of higher education. I am confident that under his leadership our academic programs will attain new levels of excellence and MSUM will make even greater contributions to the Moorhead-Fargo community.”

Prior to UW-Stout, Bessie held faculty and administrative positions at Saint Martin’s University, Valley City State University, Ridgewater College and the University of Central Oklahoma.  In total, he has held Cabinet-level administrative posts for more than 13 years.

“I am thrilled to accept this appointment,” Bessie said. “MSUM has a deep commitment to liberal arts curricula coupled with professional programming that prepares graduates for career success in a rapidly changing world. It is a unique school and I am eager to join my energies with those of President Blackhurst, the administrative team and the campus community as we solidify past accomplishments and move forward to imagine and realize new avenues of growth.

“Moorhead-Fargo offers a great opportunity for my family as well,” he said. “We are familiar with the cities and enjoy the area’s natural beauty and four seasons. My wife is originally from Northwestern Minnesota and has several relatives in the region.”

Bessie will assume his new duties on or before July 15, at which time Interim Provost Michelle Malott will resume her duties as Dean of the College of Science, Health and the Environment.

“I am grateful to Dr. Malott for her leadership during the past academic year and I look forward to working with Michelle in her role as the senior dean and member of the President’s Cabinet,” Blackhurst said.