Dr. Harvest Collier, vice provost for undergraduate studies at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has announced his retirement effective Sept. 1 following 30 years of service to the university. Dr. Larry Gragg, Curators’ Teaching Professor and chair of history and political science, will serve as interim while a search is conducted for a permanent successor.
As vice provost of undergraduate studies and a chemistry professor at Missouri S&T, Collier has initiated and led several programs designed to improve student learning, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An advocate of collaborative learning and the use of technology in the classroom, Collier has also been instrumental in developing programs such as Hit the Ground Running to help incoming freshmen make the transition from high school to college.
“Harvest turned his passion for student success into one of the main missions of the university,” says Missouri S&T Provost Warren K. Wray. “The rise in student retention is a testament to the success of his leadership and hard work. He will be missed by colleagues, peers and students, alike.”
In 2010, Collier was one of 10 educators named Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, a national organization based at the University of South Carolina.
Collier also serves as director of Missouri S&T’s Center for Educational Research and Teaching Innovation, a position he has held since 2003. The center promotes faculty development in areas of collaborative and experiential learning, technology-enhanced learning, and educational research.
Collier, who holds bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in inorganic chemistry from Mississippi State University, joined the Missouri S&T faculty in 1982 as an assistant professor of chemistry. He was promoted to associate professor in 1988 and professor in 1994. From 1996-1999, he served as chair of the chemistry department, and from 1999-2002, he was associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. He was named vice provost for undergraduate and graduate studies in 2001 and in 2007 became vice provost for undergraduate studies.
Gragg, a member of the Missouri S&T faculty since 1977, is the author of six books. His most recent, John F. Kennedy: A Biography, published in 2011, was co-authored with Dr. Michael Meagher, associate professor of history and political science at Missouri S&T. He is currently working on a book about the history of Las Vegas. Gragg specializes in colonial and revolutionary American history.
Dr. Michael Bruening, associate professor of history and political science at Missouri S&T, will serve as interim chair of the history department. A member of the faculty for five years, Bruening’s research focuses on the Reformation and he teaches courses on pre-modern European history, as well as the history of Christianity and Islam.