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Rockford University appoints higher education veteran Michael P. Mihalyo as provost

03/27/2017 8:00 am

Mihalyo_MichaelROCKFORD, Ill. — Rockford University President Eric W. Fulcomer, Ph.D., has announced the appointment of Michael P. Mihalyo, Jr., D.M.A., as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, effective this summer. Dr. Mihalyo will succeed Belinda Wholeben, Ed.D., who will retire after 23 years with the University at the end of the 2016-17 academic year, serving the last two years as provost.

Mihalyo has more than two decades of experience in higher education, and previously has filled the role of provost at two liberal arts colleges in West Virginia: Bethany College and Davis & Elkins College, where he was appointed president. Most recently, he served as president of the Kentucky-based Appalachian College Association. Dr. Mihalyo possesses a comprehensive understanding of both the academic and operational aspects of higher education institutions, with experience in direct oversight of academic divisions, college faculty/staff committees, office of the registrar, information technology, library services, academic services, student advising and student services.

“During the search process, I learned a great deal about Rockford University, especially during the campus interviews. I so enjoyed the time that I spent with students. I was quite impressed with the strong commitment of the faculty and staff to student learning and I deeply value their holistic approach to private liberal arts education,” Dr. Mihalyo said. “I was honored and delighted by President Fulcomer’s invitation to join the Rockford University community. I look forward to working with the faculty and staff to preserve Rockford’s many historic strengths and to become part of the team that continues the forward momentum to become the school of choice.” 

An accomplished musician, Dr. Mihalyo enjoyed an active career in chamber and church music prior to his faculty work. Of particular note, he conducted the St. Peter Festival Choir of Pittsburgh, Penn., for a series of services and concerts in Italy including Vatican City, Rome and the surrounding area. Dr. Mihalyo holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from West Virginia University and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Duquesne University, all in piano performance.

President Fulcomer notes Dr. Mihalyo’s valuable leadership experiences will complement Rockford University’s strategic goals.

“This search attracted a number of highly qualified candidates, and Dr. Mihalyo rose to the top of the pool. We are pleased to have someone with Michael’s extensive background in academic administration to serve as our next Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs,” Dr. Fulcomer said. “His experience in curriculum design, accreditation work, and significant involvement in national and regional organizations will serve Rockford University well. The University will not be the only beneficiary of Michael’s talents; I expect that he will quickly become an asset to the Rockford community, as well.”

A search committee vetted more than 80 applicants received from a national search before eventually narrowing their options down to three finalists. Campus visits for all candidates were conducted in late February.

Rockford University is a four-year, co-educational institution founded in 1847 offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in traditional liberal arts and professional fields. The University offers approximately 80 majors, minors and concentrations, including the adult accelerated degree completion program for a B.S. in Management Studies. Through its Graduate Studies department, degrees are extended to include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Master of Urban Education. Rockford University is home to one of only 11 Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapters in Illinois, the most prestigious honor society in the United States. Rockford University is also named by The Princeton Review as a Best Midwestern College. Rockford University currently serves approximately 1,300 full-and part-time students.