CANTON, Mo. -- The Culver-Stockton College Board of Trustees elected Douglas B. Palmer as its 27th president on Feb. 6, and he will begin his duties on July 1, 2020. He replaces Kelly M. Thompson, who is retiring at the end of June 2020.
Dr. Palmer has served as provost, vice president of academic affairs and dean at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, since 2015. He was responsible for academics (five schools and one stand-alone division), enrollment management (for undergraduates, graduates and adults), retention, assessment and institutional effectiveness, the library, the academic resource center, advising, experiential learning, career services and accreditation. He also was secretary for the board of trustees, and he was acting president for a portion of 2018.
"On behalf of the trustees, Culver-Stockton welcomes Dr. Palmer to the college," said Ron Leftwich, chairman of the C-SC board of trustees, in a statement issued Monday by the college. "He brings strong academic experience and leadership, and we look forward to working with him as the college focuses on the future and enhancing the student experience through our experiential learning curriculum."
"I am deeply humbled and honored by the invitation of the board of trustees to serve as Culver-Stockton's 27th president," Palmer said in the college's statement. "Culver-Stockton's focus on students and emphasis on experiential learning tell me that this is a place of creativity and innovation. It is leading in preparing students for the jobs of the 21st century. My family and I can't wait to meet everyone on ‘the Hill' and to become part of the Culver-Stockton family."
Palmer holds a doctorate in European history from Ohio State University, a master's degree in modern European history from the University of Oregon and a bachelor's degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He was a Fulbright scholar in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 2001-02, and he was a research fellow at the Emory University School of Law in 2004-05.
Palmer previously was the assistant dean of academic innovation and a professor of history at Walsh.
He also served as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, N.C., from 1989 to 1993. Both Palmer and his wife, Catherine, grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa. They have three sons.
"Dr. Palmer is the right leader for us based on his passion for experiential learning, his experience with innovative graduate and online programs, and his deep understanding of the value of a small, liberal arts college education. We are excited to welcome him to the Culver-Stockton College family," said Lauren Schellenberger, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, in the college's release.
A reception to introduce Palmer and his family to the community will be held at a later date.