FAIRMONT — After conducting a national search, Fairmont State University has named a new vice president of academic affairs and provost.

West Virginia native Dianna Phillips is slated to begin her new position April 26.

“We are beyond proud to welcome Dr. Phillips back to her roots in West Virginia and into our Falcon Family,” said Mirta M. Martin, president. “As a first-generation college graduate, Dianna truly understands the value of a quality college education, and the profound impact Fairmont State has on the lives of our students.

"She shares Fairmont State values like prioritizing student success, diversity, transformational impact and the pursuit of academic excellence, and I look forward to a bright future under her experienced and caring leadership.”

Phillips brings more than 20 years of demonstrated success in higher education to the position, serving in a number of roles ranging from executive, leadership and faculty positions. Most recently, Phillips served as the president of Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland.

Phillips began her higher education career at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where served as an administrator and faculty member, followed by a position at SUNY Brockport as an assistant professor. Other highlights of her professional career include, chief executive officer of District of Columbia Community College, executive vice president of Educational Services at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey and dean of technical education at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York.

“As a first-generation college graduate, I have deep understanding of the profound impact higher education has upon an individual and its effect as a public good for society as a whole,” said Phillips. “Additionally, I am dedicated to the social justice mission of higher education, recognizing that on a University campus people from all walks of life come together in the peaceful pursuit of knowledge. I believe that providing access, opportunity and voice to our students and communities we serve benefits both individuals and societies at large.”

Phillips holds a doctor of philosophy in social foundations of education with an emphasis in higher education administration from the University of Buffalo, in addition to a master's degree from Buffalo State College in student personnel administration with an emphasis on adult education. She received a bachelor of business administration with an emphasis in legal studies from National University in San Diego, along with an associate general studies degree from Chaminade University in Honolulu.

Upon her graduation from high school, Phillips joined the U.S. Navy where she served 14 years on active duty as a communications specialist in Hawaii, London, the Bahamas, Iceland and California.

Phillips replaces Richard Stephens who served as the Fairmont State Interim Provost for the 2020-21 academic year.

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