University of New Mexico names Musselwhite Chief Academic Officer, Dean of Instruction
Dr. Laura Musselwhite, interim vice president of academic affairs at Georgia Highlands College, has been named as the chief academic officer and dean of instruction at the University of New Mexico – Valencia Campus. Musselwhite will begin her duties at UNM on September 15, 2014.
Georgia Highlands College has been Musselwhite’s career home since 1991when she was hired as a part-time instructor of history before moving to full-time instructor in 1992. During her impressive tenure at GHC, Musselwhite has worked her way up through the faculty ranks from assistant professor to associate professor to full professor. She also served as faculty assessment coordinator from 2002-2004; associate vice president for academic and student affairs from 2010-2012; director of the office of strategic planning, assessment and accreditation from 2009 – present, and interim vice president of academic affairs from 2012 – present. “Laura Musselwhite’s level of commitment at GHC to teaching and learning excellence, accreditation, consistency, and strategic planning visioning has been remarkable. She is an irreplaceable college treasure whom we will miss, but for whom we have immense appreciation and good wishes” exclaimed Dr. Renva Watterson, GHC interim president.
When asked to reflect on her career highlights and those who have been great mentors to her, Musselwhite responds, “My teaching career has been my greatest accomplishment – seeing my students go on to be successful. However, moving into administration has given me a sense of being able to accomplish positive change at GHC. That has definitely been a highlight.” She continues, “The late Dr. George Pullen hired me in the very beginning. Nothing else would have been possible without him. Dr. Virginia Carson, former vice president of academic affairs, gave me my first push towards administrative work and was a wonderful role model to me. In addition, Dr. Renva Watterson has been an excellent example of a leader who combines compassion and reason and had enough faith in my abilities to advance me in the administration at GHC.”
Musselwhite earned her bachelor of art degree in history from Berry College, her master of art degree in history from the University of Georgia, and her Ph.D. in history from Georgia State University. She and her husband Harry Musselwhite, have lived in Rome since 1991. They have one son, Austin, who is a junior at Georgia Tech. While she will be beginning her new position in New Mexico this September, her husband will remain in his position at Berry College for one more year until his retirement.
“My time at Georgia Highlands will be the most valuable work experience I ever have because it has provided an environment in which I could grow and mature as a leader. All the steps of my career from here forward will be informed by my time at Georgia Highlands. The relationships I have formed over the years will stay with me as a reminder of the wonderful group of colleagues and friends that I have developed at the college” added Musselwhite.