Sharon L. Fross named vice provost for Outreach and Continuing Education

By Patrick J. Callahan

Sharon L. Fross has been appointed vice provost for University Outreach and Continuing Education, replacing John R. Mullin who will continue to serve as interim dean of the Graduate School. Charlena Seymour, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, made the announcement. Fross will begin work Sept. 1.

Fross has been director of continuing education at Penn State University at University Park since 2001. She served in a variety of posts at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., from 1985 to 2001 including as an assistant vice president for academic affairs from 1991 to 2001; director of professional and community services from 1998 to 1991; and director of projects in the Office of Academic Affairs from 1985 to 1991.

Seymour says Fross is an excellent fit for the position at UMass Amherst. “We are very pleased to welcome Sharon Fross to the university,” Seymour says. “She has a solid background overseeing a wide range of programs connected with both continuing education and academic affairs. That is precisely what is needed to successfully conduct the job of this vice provost.”

The vice provost for University Outreach and Continuing Education is responsible for oversight of UMass Extension, University Without Walls, radio station WFCR, and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Institution, along with the Division of Continuing Education.

Fross says she is looking forward to her new duties. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work on behalf of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and I look forward to working with Chancellor Lombardi, Provost Seymour, the academic deans and faculty, outreach and continuing education staff,” Fross says. “As a nationally renowned university, UMass Amherst has an essential role in responding to key economic and social issues. Outreach and continuing education expands the impact of the UMass Amherst teaching, research and service mission to transform lives and communities across the Commonwealth, nationally and internationally.”

Fross earned her doctorate in educational administration from the University of South Carolina in 1998 and a master of public administration degree in 1987. Fross earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the College of Charleston in 1982. She currently serves on the University Continuing Education Association Commission for Futures and Markets, has served on the American Council of Education Credit Advisory Committee, and worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute Board.

Mullin was first appointed vice provost in August 2003. He was named interim vice chancellor for University Outreach in 2001. He previously was professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, and director of the Center for Economic Development.