Dr. Wallace L. Daniel Appointed Mercer Provost

January 3, 2008

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

MACON — Mercer University President William D. Underwood today announced the appointment of Dr. Wallace L. Daniel, former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University, as Mercer’s new provost, effective July 1, 2008. Dr. Daniel, a prominent historian, succeeds Dr. Horace W. Fleming Jr., who has served the University with distinction on two separate occasions.

“Wallace Daniel is respected as an inspiring teacher and an accomplished scholar, has been highly successful in a variety of academic leadership roles, and has a leadership style that is collaborative and transparent,” Underwood said. “He assumes this key leadership position at a critical juncture in Mercer’s 175-year history. I look forward to working with him to build on the University’s reputation as one of the finest private institutions in the South. I want to thank the members of the provost search committee for their hard work in bringing the search to a successful conclusion and am especially grateful to Dean Daisy Floyd for her leadership of the search process.”

“Dr. Daniel emerged as one of three finalists following a national search that produced over 50 candidates,” said Floyd, who serves as dean of Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law. “From the beginning, we were looking for a talented, experienced leader in higher education who could help Mercer continue to move forward. I am delighted that we found such a person in Dr. Daniel and that he will become our next provost.”

Daniel currently serves as the Ralph L. and Bessie Mae Lynn Professor of History and editor of the Journal of Church and State at Baylor.  Daniel previously served from 1996-2005 as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Baylor’s largest academic unit with more than 400 faculty and 6,500 students.  He also served as founding director of the Slavic Studies Program from 1986 to 1996, chair of the history department from 1992 to 1996, and director of the Honors Program from 1991 to 2003.

“Mercer has a rich tradition, a dynamic present, and a promising future. As one of the South’s most prestigious universities, it has a history of bringing together liberal arts and professional education in new, innovative forms, which position it attractively in a changing academic and economic environment,” Daniel said. “I found compelling its service ethic, its impressive dedication to undergraduates, its desire to strengthen teaching and scholarship, its renewed emphasis on both professional education and the liberal arts, and its forward-looking commitment to interdisciplinary studies. Mercer’s desire to educate the next generation of leaders and to generate conversation, inviting diverse points of view, about the central issues of our time is extremely appealing and exciting.”

An honors graduate in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Daniel received his Ph.D. from the same institution, specializing in Russia. He twice has been awarded IREX fellowships and three times Fulbright-Hays Fellowships to Russia and the former Soviet Union.  Daniel’s publications include "Grigorii Teplov: A Statesman at the Court of Catherine the Great," and, most recently (autumn 2006) "The Orthodox Church and Civil Society in Russia."  His articles on intellectual and social history, as well as on church and state issues, are published in Russian Review, The Slavonic and East European Review, Canadian-American Slavic Studies, Russian Review (in Russian), Religion, State and Society, Journal of Ecclesiastical History (forthcoming), and Journal of Church and State. Currently, he is working on a new project, an intellectual biography of Fr Aleksandr Men’.

Daniel is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. He presently serves on the Advisory Council to the Texas State Coordinating Board for Higher Education, the Beall-Russell Lectures Committee, the Keston Center Advisory Board, and as co-chair of the Pruitt Symposium for 2008-09.

He is married to Karol Koger Daniel and has two children, Zach, a graduate of Baylor University, and Elizabeth, a recent graduate of the University of Chicago.

Daniel’s extracurricular activities include reading, travel, Tarheel basketball, and golf.

About Mercer University:

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial Health University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu .
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