Barton Announces Interim Provost and Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Appointments

WILSON, N.C. — Barton College is pleased to announce the appointments of Dr. Kelly Thompson as interim provost of the college and Dr. Jackie Ennis as interim associate vice president for academic affairs. These appointments were made following the earlier announcement of Dr. John Marsden, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Barton College, being named president of Midway College in Kentucky. Dr. Thompson’s and Dr. Ennis’ appointments are effective January 1, 2013.

Dr. Kelly Thompson

“Kelly Thompson, vice president for external relations, brings a wealth of administrative leadership expertise to her new role as interim provost of the college, and Jackie Ennis, dean of the School of Education and director of Accelerated Professional Programs, provides strong faculty leadership and experience to her respective new role as associate vice president for academic affairs,” said Dr. Norval C. Kneten, president of Barton College. “Dr. Thompson and Dr. Ennis are an exemplary team, providing leadership through collaboration on a number of projects in recent years, and I am grateful for their willingness to take on additional leadership responsibilities in the coming semester. A formal search process for the senior administration position will begin fall 2013. In the immediate future, I look forward to working with Dr. Thompson and Dr. Ennis as they lead the academic affairs division with an energy and enthusiasm that would be matched by few.”

As provost of the college, Dr. Thompson’s responsibilities will include oversight of academic administration, including convening the Academic Council, supervising the Library, and overseeing the offices of the registrar, student success, and institutional research.  She will be responsible for conducting performance reviews for deans of schools and department chairs, faculty, and academic programs.  Dr. Thompson will continue her oversight of enrollment management, institutional advancement, public relations, publications, and web services as vice president for external relations. In addition to serving as a member of the President’s Senior Cabinet, Dr. Thompson also leads the College’s Marketing and Recruitment Initiatives Team as well as the Board of Trustees’ Growth and Marketing Task Force.

“During Dr. Marsden’s leadership, Barton was able to make significant strides in library technology development, student success programming, advancing career services strategies to support student preparation for graduation, and developing a culture of scholarship,” shared Dr. Thompson. As I step into this new leadership role, I look forward to continuing this trajectory of enhancing academic quality and supporting academic programming. This trajectory works hand in glove with continuing an aggressive agenda for recruitment and marketing efforts, and nurturing healthy donor and institutional gift programs. I look forward to working even more closely with our accomplished faculty and academic staff in the coming semester. No doubt, these opportunities will bring increased creativity and collaboration into our strategic planning as we move Barton’s national reputation forward.”

A native of Chicago, Ill., Dr. Thompson completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre at the University of Illinois in Champaign, and earned a Master of Arts degree in Communications and Theatre at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  She completed a C.A. S. in Educational Leadership at National-Louis University in Chicago and earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Prior to joining the Barton administration, Dr. Thompson served as group vice president for enrollment and marketing at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Mich.  Other professional appointments have included vice president for enrollment management at National-Louis University in Chicago, and Executive Director-Wisconsin Campus in Milwaukee for National-Louis University.

Her professional memberships include the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, National Association of College Admissions Counseling, and the American Marketing Association.

Dr. Thompson is married to Clarke Schneider, Ph.D. They make their home in Wilson.

Dr. Jackie Ennis

Dr. Ennis’ new responsibilities will include providing leadership for the Academic Council, providing advice and counsel to the library in operational matters, and overseeing the Accelerated Professional Programs. She will also provide leadership and academic support for faculty development, the First Year Seminar Program, accreditation activities, the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), and the Honors Program. Dr. Ennis will have the responsibility to plan and execute F/A/St Day for the beginning of the academic semesters, to provide assistance for faculty and program performance reviews, and to supervise report development for School of Education accreditations. Dr. Ennis will continue in her role as dean of the School of Education and director of Accelerated Professional Programs (APP).

“We have an extremely qualified faculty, and I look forward to working with them on day-to-day operational matters, providing advice as needed, and overseeing a plethora of academic programs including First-Year Seminar, Honors, APP, and the QEP writing across the curriculum initiatives that set Barton apart in the academic experience we provide our students. Dr. Marsden fostered an environment conducive for collaboration with faculty, and I am excited to move forward with faculty members as we continue to implement the strong initiatives he established. I look forward to working with Dr. Thompson in our new roles.”

A native of Nash County, Ennis earned a Bachelor of Science degree (summa cum laude) in Intermediate and Middle School Education with a concentration in mathematics from Barton College. She continued her studies completing a Master of Education degree in Intermediate and Middle School Education with a concentration in mathematics and science at Campbell University and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.  She also holds certifications in computer education and academically gifted education.  Prior to joining the Barton faculty, Ennis was a teacher in the Nash-Rocky Mount Schools system.

Ennis’ professional affiliations include the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Kappa Delta Pi, the International Society for Technology Education, the National Association for Gifted Children, the North Carolina Middle School Association, and the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.

Ennis and her husband, Jim, reside in Red Oak.  They have two children, Logan and Margo.


Questions?  Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations at Barton College, at 252-399-6529 or email