Ken Peterson, who has served as Dean of the Faculty at Furman University since February 2017, is the university’s new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost as of Aug. 1.
Furman President Elizabeth Davis announced in April that Peterson had been named Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. As Furman’s chief academic officer, he is responsible for the faculty and related administrative departments that support all undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs.
“Ken has been a key leader in developing and driving The Furman Advantage, our promise to provide every student an exceptional education that prepares them for meaningful lives and careers,” President Davis said. “He brings to this position great passion, extensive knowledge and a deep understanding and appreciation for the challenges and opportunities facing our university.”
Peterson joined the Furman faculty in 1990 as a member of the Department of Economics and Business Administration, and served as the inaugural chair of the Department of Economics from 2004 to 2016. He has been a major contributor to the quality of the student experience at Furman, co-leading the team that is designing an integrated curricular and co-curricular pathway for students, which is at the heart of The Furman Advantage.
Peterson is a recipient of the Alester G. Furman Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Teaching, and has served on a wide range of university committees including several related to strategic planning.
Peterson’s research interests include the economics of athletics at liberal arts colleges; community economic development strategies and income distributions in Greenville and Upstate South Carolina; and the valuation of environmental and community amenities. He has a long history of community engagement and mentoring students to be involved in the community. From 2004 to 2012, he served as the director of Urban Studies at Furman.
Peterson is a graduate of Iowa State University, and earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
“I’m really excited about Furman’s trajectory and am grateful to be part of its leadership team,” Peterson said. “I look forward to continuing Provost Shields’ initiatives to diversify the faculty and articulate the value of a Furman education, and am excited to work with such a great team to implement The Furman Advantage.”
Peterson succeeds George Shields as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. Shields has returned to the Furman chemistry faculty, and Suzy Summers, the James C. Self Professor of Business Administration, will serve as interim dean of faculty. A search for the next dean of faculty will begin in the fall.
For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.