Barton College Announces John Marsden As New Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

WILSON, N.C. — Barton College is pleased to announce the appointment of John P. Marsden, Ph.D., of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as provost and vice president for academic affairs.  He will also hold academic rank as professor of gerontology.  His appointment will be effective July 1.

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. John Marsden to Barton College and the Wilson community,” shared Dr. Norval C. Kneten, president of Barton College. “His wealth of academic and administrative experience in higher education has prepared Dr. Marsden well for the role of chief academic officer at Barton. I am confident that he will provide keen and effective leadership for our faculty and a robust long-range vision for our academic programs.”

Dr. Marsden comes to Barton from Mount Mercy University where he has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs since 2007.  He earned a Ph.D. and Master of Science degree in Architecture with a major in Environment and Behavior and a minor in Gerontology from the University of Michigan.  He also holds a Master of Architecture degree and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Arizona, and a Bachelor of Architecture degree with a minor in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Marsden is the author or co-author of four books in the areas of dementia, assisted living, and evidenced-based design, and he serves on the review board for two scholarly journals.

“As chief academic officer, Dr. Marsden will oversee the administration of the academic programs of the College, and will work closely with department chairs and the deans of the academic schools as well as the director of the library, the dean of accelerated professional programs, the director of academic success, and the registrar,” said Dr. Kneten.  “In addition, he will be directly partnering with Institutional Advancement in expanding fundraising opportunities for academic-related programming.  While the title of ‘provost’ is not customary at Barton College, it is found throughout independent higher education and, in our case, expanded fundraising responsibilities is a major factor in adding this title to our lexicon.”

“Barton College has a strong tradition of student-centered learning, engagement, and service,” said Dr. Marsden.  “I am excited about this opportunity to serve the institution and look forward to building upon Dr. Grimes’ leadership in academic affairs, partnering with advancement, and reaching out to the surrounding community. Margaret, Will, and I appreciate your hospitality and are excited about making Wilson, North Carolina, our home.”

Dr. Marsden will succeed Dr. Terrence L. Grimes, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, who will retire at the end of the academic year, following 40 years of service to Barton College.

“Dr. Grimes has served as vice president of academic affairs since 2004 and has provided strong and insightful leadership and guidance for Barton’s academic programs,” continued Dr. Kneten.  “Prior to assuming this administrative leadership role, Dr. Grimes served as professor of English and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences in addition to numerous leadership roles throughout his tenure at Barton.  We are grateful to Dr. Grimes for his many accomplishments during his tenure at the College, and we look forward to upcoming opportunities to celebrate his productive contributions to historic Atlantic Christian and to its modern incarnation as Barton College.”


Questions?  Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 2520399-6529 or email: