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TWU names Robert Neely as its new provost and vice president for academic affairs


Robert Neely











DENTON/DALLAS/HOUSTON — Texas Woman’s University has named Dr. Robert Neely as its new provost and vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Neely currently is the associate provost and associate vice president for research at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich. and will begin his duties at TWU on Jan. 3, 2011.

“Dr. Neely clearly demonstrated his strength as an academic leader, his respect of process and shared governance, and a serious understanding of the challenges and opportunities that face higher education during his interactions with the TWU community,” TWU Chancellor Ann Stuart said. “With Dr. Neely’s leadership, I believe our faculty will pursue a continued quest of excellence, and I look forward to our years together.”

Dr. Neely has more than 25 years of academic experience at Eastern Michigan University, including more than 12 years of senior administrative experience with roles as acting and interim provost for the university and positions as the department head for biology, associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of biology. He also has supervised the master’s work of 22 graduate students, and has received many awards and accolades, including the John A. Moffit Award for outstanding publication and the State of Michigan Teaching Excellence Award.

“I am humbled and delighted to be selected as the next TWU provost,” Dr. Neely said. “I want the entire university community to know that they can depend on me to be open, friendly, honest, accessible and forward thinking as I work tirelessly on behalf of TWU to enhance its role in meeting the higher education needs of the citizens of Texas.”

Dr. Neely said he was interested in TWU because of its national reputation in nursing and the health sciences, its blend of strong graduate and undergraduate programs and because of the university’s niche in providing an outstanding mix of professional programs with the arts and humanities.

“I also am looking forward to working with the faculty to build on TWU’s standards of excellence in academics to help the university continue to provide an affordable and practical higher education for Texans, which is most important to me,” he said.

Dr. Neely earned his Ph.D. in botany from Iowa State University. A native of Waco, he received his master’s degree in biology from Baylor University and his bachelor’s degree from Southwest Baptist College.

Dr. Neely replaces former TWU Provost Kay Clayton, who left the university last spring due to health reasons. Acting TWU Provost Dr. Keith McFarland will continue to serve the university until the end of the fall semester.

“Dr. McFarland has been a tremendous leader during this transition period, and I cannot thank him enough for his service to TWU,” Dr. Stuart said.

Chancellor Stuart also praised members of the TWU Provost Search Committee for the process they developed to assist with the provost selection.

“I am particularly grateful to Dr. Don Edwards, chair of the search committee, and the committee’s staff for their exceptional work overseeing the details of such a comprehensive search,” Dr. Stuart said.

 Dr. Edwards said the 12-member search committee, made up of TWU faculty, students, staff and administrators, was pleased with the response to its national recruitment efforts for the provost position.

“The search committee is excited about the appointment of Dr. Neely as the next provost, and we look forward to working with him as he helps TWU move toward a strong future,” said Dr. Edwards, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the TWU Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Texas Woman’s University is the nation’s largest university primarily for women with campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Nine consecutive years of enrollment growth produced a record enrollment of 14,179 students in fall 2010. For more information, visit


Media Contact:

Amanda Simpson
Director of Media Relations

page updated 11/12/2015 5:12 PM