Dr. Kathleen Dougherty is Alma College’s new Provost, filling the position previously held by Dr. Michael Selmon for fifteen years. Dougherty took over the position on July 1st.
“I spent [many] years as a faculty member before I moved on to administration, so I spent a lot of time teaching,” said Dougherty.
Dougherty’s background is in philosophy. She achieved an undergraduate and a PhD degree in the field.
“I attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota for undergrad, which is a small liberal arts college much like Alma. Then I moved on to The University of Oklahoma for my masters and my PhD. I went from the very cold [weather of Minnesota] to the very hot [weather of Oklahoma],” Dougherty said.
Dougherty grew up in the town of Ashland, Ohio, which is about an hour south of Cleveland.
“My parents still live there, and when I go home to visit, I actually stay in the same bedroom I grew up in,” said Dougherty.
Family is important to Dougherty. She has a daughter who just started her freshman year of college. She recalled how her daughter’s senior year of high school and her job search lined up.
“[My daughter] had to make her college decision within days of me accepting this job, so it was all a very whirlwind sort of decision,” said Dougherty.
When asked about pets, Dougherty labeled herself a cat person, and discussed her cats, as well as the story behind their names.
“It was the Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. when I adopted them, so they are Martha and Betsy,” said Dougherty.
Though she is quite busy, Dougherty enjoys reading in her spare time.
“I love to read all kinds of books,” she said.
“I read a lot for work, and I’m a philosopher by training, so I still like to read philosophy, but I like to read all kinds of books. I love the ballet, so I read a lot about the ballet.”
Dougherty’s love for the ballet is a major passion of hers.
“Other people like to go to beaches, I like to go to places I can see the ballet,” said Dougherty.
“I love Alma a lot, but the only major challenge I am having is that we are not close to any major ballet company,” she said.
“Part of what brought me to Alma is that it felt like the right fit. I love the people that I work with here.”
Though she does not get to interact with students as much as she would like, Dougherty wants students to know they can come see her.
“It’s really easy to be that person in the back office that a lot of students don’t have contact with, but students really are allowed to come in, the door really is opened. We’re happy to see you,” said Dougherty.
“I learn more everyday. I think what I love about it is that I am always learning something. There is always an opportunity for me to learn something more, and I always get to talk with people who want to engage with exciting ideas. There aren’t many people who get lucky enough to have jobs like that, and I feel incredibly lucky because I get to work with these remarkably dedicated people [every day].”