Richard Pointer, professor of history at Westmont and holder of the Fletcher Jones Foundation Chair in the Social Sciences, will serve as acting provost for two years. He replaces Warren Rogers, a physics professor who had served in this role since January 2007 and was eager to return to his teaching and research. A new search for a permanent chief academic officer will begin late next semester.
“I’m delighted Rick is assuming this responsibility,” says Westmont President Gayle D. Beebe. “Not only is he an outstanding teacher and scholar, but he’s an active member of the Westmont community who will represent faculty concerns well. His sound judgment, willingness to listen and commitment to liberal arts education make him a wonderful candidate for this position. I know he will do a great job.”
Pointer will supervise the college’s academic program, including the budget, faculty development and the curriculum, and he will serve on Westmont’s executive team. He is a former chair of the history department and member of the Faculty Council.
“I am honored to be invited to serve the Westmont community in this new way over the next 24 months and look forward to moving the college’s academic program ahead in this exciting and challenging time,” Pointer says.
An American historian, Pointer joined Westmont’s history department in 1994 and was chosen social science division Teacher of the Year in 1997 and 2003. He has written two books, “Protestant Pluralism and the New York Experience” and “Encounters of the Spirit: Native Americans and European Colonial Religion,” as well as many articles. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, he has served as president and vice president of the Conference on Faith and History, an organization of Christian historians, and as associate editor for the Christian Scholar’s Review.
He graduated from Houghton College and earned his master’s degree and doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. In March, Pointer was installed as the first recipient of the Fletcher Jones Foundation Chair in the Social Sciences.