May 9, 2014
Susan Conner, Albion College's provost and vice president for academic affairs, recently announced her intention to retire as of June 30, 2014 after 39 years of service in education.
"It has been my great pleasure to serve with Susan. Her wisdom, experience, and professionalism were just what we needed in a provost," said Interim President Mike Frandsen, who became the College's vice president for finance and administration during Conner's tenure. "I learned a lot from her as she led us to a successful reaccreditation and steered us through difficult times, always keeping her sense of humor through it all. She will be missed by Albion, and by me."
Conner came to Albion in 2008, the College's first provost in many years not to come from its faculty. She led the entire campus through the two-year process of comprehensive reaffirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission's North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, resulting in a commendation for the quality of materials submitted. Conner also enhanced international study and research opportunities for students and faculty through programs developed with the Great Lakes Colleges Association and partnerships with institutions in France. She played a strong role in crafting the Albion Advantage, the College's unique program blending liberal arts education and career readiness.
“When my husband and I wanted to return to Michigan, Albion College provided a wonderful opportunity,” Conner noted. “The College is really impressive; it has a dedicated faculty and staff, outstanding facilities, and talented students who are making a change in the world. We are pleased to be staying in Albion where we enjoy being involved in the life of the community.”
Beth Lincoln, co-chair and professor of geological sciences, will serve as interim provost for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Prior to joining Albion's administration, Conner served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. She has also held administrative and faculty positions at Central Michigan University and Tift College of Mercer University. While at Central Michigan, Conner received an Excellence in Teaching Award and the Michigan Association of Governing Boards Distinguished Professor Award. She is the author of The Age of Napoleon, part of the Greenwood Guides to Historic Events series, and has authored a large number of book chapters and peer-reviewed articles.
A specialist in 18th- and 19th-century French history, Conner has done extensive research on gender roles and the social and political status of women in 18th- and 19th-century Europe. She plans to teach an upper-level European history course at Albion next year.
Conner is an alumna of Armstrong State College and earned a doctorate in history from Florida State University.