Honors Program leader steps down, interim named

Nicole Sparling Barco will return to faculty role

| Author: Ari Harris | Media Contact: Ariadne Harris

David Patton, Central Michigan University’s interim senior vice provost for academic affairs, today announced that Nicole Sparling Barco will step down from her role as director of the CMU Honors Program.

Sparling Barco was appointed to the position by former Provost Mary Schutten in July 2020 following the departure of former director Phame Camarena. 

Beginning August 16, she will return to her faculty position, teaching and conducting research in the Department of English Language and Literature.

“I am grateful for Dr. Barco’s leadership and dedication to the Honors Program,” Patton said. “Her efforts to lead the honors program through the challenges of the pandemic and to raise awareness around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion within the Honors Program have been greatly appreciated. I hope we will be able to continue to build on the work she has completed.”

The search for CMU’s next Honors Program director will begin later this year. Patton said he will meet with members of the Honors Council this fall to review the position job description, select a search committee and determine search parameters. 

Patton has appointed Patricia Williamson to serve as interim director of the Honors Program for the next year while the search for a permanent director is underway. 

Williamson has served as a faculty member in the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts since 1999. Patton said she has long history of service to the Honors Program as both an instructor and a member of the Honors Council. Williamson received the “Honors Faculty of the Year” award in 2018. 

“I am very grateful that Dr. Williamson has agreed to serve as the interim director for the upcoming year. Her knowledge of, and dedication to the success of the Honors Program will be a great asset as we search for a new director.” Patton said.

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