Truman State University has hired Eric Freedman to serve as the next executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. His start date is still to be determined.
Freedman has held several leadership roles at various public and private higher educational institutions across the United States. Freedman said his first administrative role was at Florida Atlantic University. He was the associate director of the school of communication and multimedia study for 15 years. Later in his career at FAU, he became the assistant dean of the cof arts and letters, where he was responsible for overseeing a broad range of academic programs.
After leaving FAU during 2012, he began working as the dean of the Knight School of Communication at Queen University of Charlotte, a small private college in North Carolina. During 2016, he moved to Columbia College in Chicago, where he serves as the dean of the School of Media Arts. There he oversees programs in media, communications and information.
Freedman said his role at Columbia, similar to Truman, has focused much on the institution’s role in the broader Chicago area. Much of his work has focused on making Columbia a regional partner for the greater Chicago area, working to develop and support the city while also providing greater social and economic opportunity and mobility for students attending the college.
He has worked to create partnerships with organizations ranging from local community groups, regional industries, businesses and other educational institutions to accomplish this goal, Freedman said. He said one reason he is excited to come to Truman is it provides a well-rounded liberal arts education for students, allowing them to develop a multitude of in-demand skills regardless of which program they focus their studies on.
Freedman said one of the reasons he decided to work at Truman was a desire to return to work at a residential, public university. He said residential universities provide an environment forming academic communities where classroom experiences can be tied to activities outside lecture halls. College towns such as Kirksville provide an environment for students to further grow and develop academically with each other.
“All of my goals are driven by student success,” Freedman said. “What are the existing interdisciplinary branches and how do we either create new ones or strengthen the existing interdisciplinary branches?”
Freedman said he hopes to ensure the University continues adapting and growing to ensure students are ready to begin their careers upon graduation. He said he looks forward to working with everyone at the institution.
Senior Kennedy Cooper, president of Student Government, said the administration consulted Student Government during the process of selecting someone for the role. Student Government members received the resumes of the various candidates and were also invited to the forums hosted to interview the candidates. Cooper said she attended every forum available to her.
Cooper said she was impressed with Freedman’s unique perspective on the role and his attempts to establish connections between educational institutions and the surrounding communities.