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Eric Link named next University of North Dakota Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

University of North Dakota President Andrew Armacost has named Eric Link provost and vice president for academic affairs following a national search.

The appointment is effective July 1.

Link currently serves as provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs at the University of Houston Downtown, a public, comprehensive institution of more than 15,000 students. In his role as provost, Link has provided leadership for the academic affairs, student affairs, and enrollment management operations of the university, as well as the university library and the offices of institutional research, data analytics, assessment, and accreditation.

Eric Link

“I am honored and thrilled to join the University of North Dakota and to serve the students, faculty, and staff as part of the administrative team,” Link said. “UND is an outstanding and dynamic university that plays a vital role not only in North Dakota, but across the region and the country, and I look forward to working alongside the UND community to provide exceptional educational opportunities for our students and to advance the mission of the institution.  I am grateful to President Armacost, the search committee, and the entire UND team for the opportunity to join you.  Laura and I are excited to become members of the Fighting Hawks’ family and the greater Grand Forks community.”

“I am thrilled to welcome Eric Link as our new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs,” said Armacost. “He brings to UND tremendous experience as an educator, scholar, and leader in higher education. I look forward to having Eric; his wife, Dr. Laura Link; and their family as members of our UND team.

“I offer my deep appreciation to the members of the search committee, chaired by Drs. (UND Associate Dean and Professor) Beth Bjerke (John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences) and (Professor or Economics and Finance) David Flynn (Nistler College of Business & Public Administration), who conducted extraordinary work by identifying a rich candidate pool from which we selected four incredible finalists. The level of campus involvement in the search was impressive, and I truly value the input that I received from our faculty, staff, and students.

“Eric distinguished himself in this search with his ideas about the future of education; the important role of scholarship; the impact of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion; the value of public higher education; the importance of shared governance; and the primacy of student learning and growth as future citizens and leaders. He is a proven educational leader and senior administrator who has truly earned the respect of his colleagues. I am thrilled he will join us in this essential role.”

Eric Link earned his doctorate in American literature from Purdue University, a master’s degree in English language and literature from Southwest Missouri State University, and a bachelor’s in communications from Evangel University, Springfield, Mo.

Prior to Houston, Link served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Purdue University Fort Wayne, Ind., from 2015-19. He served as English department chair at the University of Memphis from 2008-2013, where he was named associate dean, 2013-2015. He also served as professor and the head of the Department of Language and Literature at North Georgia College and State University, in addition to a variety of other administrative roles, from 1996 to 2008.

An award-winning teacher and scholar, he is widely published in his field, with 10 authored or edited volumes and more than 50 essays. He has twice served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar, most recently at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland (2012), and before that in Lutsk, Ukraine (2008).

Link will take over for Debbie Storrs, who was named interim provost and vice president for academic affairs in June 2020. She served as dean of the UND College of Arts & Sciences from 2013-2018, when she was appointed senior vice provost.