Raritan Valley Community College named Karen Bearce as the new provost and vice president of academic affairs, the school announced Aug. 11.
Bearce replaces Deborah Preston, who left in June to become president of Mercer County Community College.
In her new role, Bearce is responsible for:
- leading comprehensive program review;
- promoting the work of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship;
- forming partnerships with K-12 schools and with regional employers;
- developing online learning and other programming;
- and creating strategic plans, especially those related to academic achievement, closing the equity gap and student success.
Bearce comes to RVCC from Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa., where she served as interim vice president and, before that, as associate vice president for academic affairs. At NCC, she was responsible for its four academic schools and entire college academic portfolio at multiple campuses.
Bearce also spent time in the classroom. She was a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, then an assistant professor at Seton Hall University, and ultimately joined Mercer County Community College, where she taught psychology as a tenured professor and was named acting dean of institutional effectiveness.
President Michael McDonough said RVCC was excited to welcome Bearce, calling her “a dynamic and innovative leader.”
“With her significant experience in higher education, particularly in the community college sector, serving as interim vice president and associate vice president of academic affairs, as a dean, and as a faculty member, she will be an invaluable addition to the college community,” McDonough said in a statement.
“Her wealth of experience leading faculty and staff, working with K-12 partners, developing and growing online learning, and connecting assessment to strategic planning will be a tremendous asset to RVCC,” McDonough continued.
Bearce earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s and Ph.D. from Rutgers University – all in the field of psychology.