CMU's new provost completes first month

Michael Gealt calls for community participation
Provost Michael A. Gealt

What do you get when you cross an opera lover, a biker and a fountain pen collector? You get someone with a warm and colorful personality named Michael Gealt, Central Michigan University’s new executive vice president and provost.

Along with eclectic hobbies, Gealt brings academic acumen and an energetic enthusiasm for guiding the university forward. Despite his background as a microbiologist and his involvement in STEM disciplines, the provost says the liberal arts are critical to a student’s professional and personal success.

“I don’t like referring to STEM,” said Gealt. “I prefer referring to STREAM, which opens it up to reading and the arts. You may graduate with an engineering degree from CMU, for example, but down the road you may have an opportunity to become a manager. It’s the breadth of knowledge outside of your technical discipline — the arts, music, business, political science — that will make you successful.”

The executive vice president/provost leads the university’s academic division, including the seven academic colleges, the College of Graduate Studies, Global Campus, research and sponsored programs, libraries, institutional diversity, international education, academic administration, academic affairs, information technology, and student publications.

Gealt has 35 years of academic experience. He most recently served as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In addition, Gealt has held positions at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Ind., and Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Gealt says three things at CMU were of particular interest to him when he applied for the position.

“Opportunities that just jumped at me include the College of Medicine — knowing that education and student success is a unique thrust of the new medical school that will enhance what we can do in the health professions area,” said Gealt. “Global Campus is another intriguing attribute at CMU with its blend of online and face-to-face instruction. It allows CMU to be competitive where other institutions can’t be. The third thing that appealed to me is CMU’s origin as a normal school. Education is the foundation of what we are all about.”

Gealt’s passion for education provides a focal point for his vision, saying his mentors in life had a complimentary blend of administrator and academician, something he hopes to foster at CMU. 

“I became involved in university administration because I wanted to help those around me succeed,” said Gealt. “That is more important to me at this point in my career than publishing another paper or writing a grant. I’m driven by helping our students succeed — in helping our faculty become the best faculty they can be.” 

To learn more on Gealt’s philosophy on higher education, his plans for CMU and his intriguing hobbies, listen to a two-minute excerpt of his interview here. The entire interview also can be viewed here.

Media Contacts

Steve Smith
989-774-7328

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