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CMU and Mary Schutten

Mary Schutten to become Central Michigan University provost

Student success, academic innovation, community partnerships are hallmarks

Contact: ​Jeff Johnston


​Mary Schutten, professor and administrator at San José State University, has been appointed provost and executive vice president at Central Michigan University starting July 1.

mug-schutten.jpgSchutten has 30 years of progressively larger leadership roles in higher education and most recently was dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at San José State. Her leadership has been marked by a focus on student success, innovation and excellence in curriculum and academic programs, interdisciplinary initiatives, and community partnerships designed to benefit students.

"Dr. Schutten is committed to rigor, relevance and excellence," President Bob Davies said. "She's proven her ability to tackle issues, to have straightforward conversations and to serve as a leader while also developing leadership in others. She's a strong advocate for all parts of the academic division and has a creative, innovative and collaborative approach."

At San José State, Schutten led a collaborative and transparent process to reimagine and rename the College of Applied Arts and Sciences as it became the College of Health and Human Sciences. She recently used a "Design Thinking" process to engage department chairs and directors in creating an identity document clarifying who and what the college is and to align its goals with the university's strategic plan.

Innovations and initiatives in the college include:

  • Developing innovative and interdisciplinary courses to promote health and wellness.
  • Piloting an online Doctor of Nurse Practice in partnership with California State University Fresno.
  • Implementing a global experience for students.
  • Working with chairs and directors to explore new ways to provide students and faculty with advising support.
  • Creating a partnership with a major health provider to use San José State's nursing simulation labs for the continuing education of its entire staff.

More than 400 tenure-track and temporary faculty in the college serve about 7,000 students with 14 Bachelor of Science degrees, 14 master's degrees and the Doctor of Nurse Practice. A Doctor of Audiology will begin in fall 2020, and a Doctor of Occupational Therapy will start in fall 2021. The college generates more than $3 million in external research awards annually.

"The opportunity to serve as provost of a large, well-respected university is what excites me the most about coming to CMU," Schutten said. "I truly appreciate Central's long history of academic excellence, its focus on students and on making a difference in the state and its communities, as these have been hallmarks of my educational career."

A Michigan native, Schutten previously was associate dean and professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Grand Valley State University. She earned her Doctor of Physical Education from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in physical education from California State University at Long Beach and a Bachelor of Arts in education from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


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