APSU was molded by change this summer from responding to the coronavirus pandemic to the creation of the new APSU bookstore, and APSU’s leadership is no exception.

One of the biggest changes to campus leadership this summer came in the form of Maria Cronley, APSU’s new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Cronley accepted Dr. Rex Gandy’s former position as APSU’s Provost in July 2020.

Cronley’s previously worked as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ohio Northern University (ONU). She also worked as a professor in marketing at Miami University.

Cronley discussed similarities between APSU and her time at Wright State University (WSU). Similar to APSU, WSU has a strong military presence on campus. Cronley noted this connection as a “…nice circle-back on [her] career.”

In her Provost position, Cronley serves as APSU’s Chief Academic Officer. She works closely with the president, deans, chairs, and other leaders across campus to facilitate academic success.

“I am sort of like the university mom,” Cronley said. “I really try to provide answers, bring resources to the table, and sometimes I’m just helping find lost keys.”

Although she just started recently, Cronley is eager for future plans at APSU. 

These efforts include comprehensive academic strategic planning. 

In this planning, Cronley focuses on job prospects upon graduation.

“We’re working on ways to make what we do better and we’re also thinking about the future. What are those majors, minors, and programs that students need to be developing now for the future, so that students are highly employable, that they can get great jobs, and that they can get through effectively?” Cronley said.

In the short-term future, Cronley plans to provide support for faculty, staff and students as the campus takes on challenges with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

In this support system, she also plans to meet with and listen to her constituencies about concerns across the campus.

She has already started working with the faculty senate and the staff senate. She also hopes to work with the student senate.

The Provost Office has already carried out plans in their introduction of G4 Pathway. 

The new campus feature provides resources and support for students. The campus can also interact through discussions on the portal. 

G4 Pathway is accessible on D2L as a course listing.Cronley highly encourages students to use G4 Pathway.

“It’s open to all students and it’s a variety of resources that anyone can take and leverage.”

G4 Pathway is an innovation that could be useful for incoming freshmen and transfer students.

Whether students are navigating APSU virtually or on-ground, G4 pathway can serve as a reminder that nobody is alone in the mission of graduation.

On the path to graduation, Cronley advises that students ask questions early, use available resources, learn time management, engage in socially-distanced student interactions, and wear masks.

While times seem uncertain right now, Cronley encourages students to remain hopeful and driven.

“Don’t assume that the current state is the way it has to be,” she said.