‘A Very, Very Special Job’
Carl Reiber Joins Georgia Southern as Provost and VP for Academic Affairs
On July 1, Carl L. Reiber, Ph.D., assumed the role of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Georgia Southern University.
What made him want to leave the University of Nevada, Las Vegas(UNLV) as their senior vice provost and take the Georgia Southern job, over two thousand miles away?
“I chose Georgia Southern because it’s very student-focused. It has outstanding scholarship and the faculty are very high quality. Those two characteristics are important to me. And making this job very exciting was the consolidation,” said Reiber. “That really grabbed me. Just made this a very, very special job.”
The Liberty Campus with its large military population is anotherappealing factor to Reiber.
“My father was a full colonel in the Army and served for over 25 years. I was a dependent, so I understand the needs of that community. And frankly, I just think that the educational needs and opportunities for active duty military, their spouses and dependents need to be addressed.”
When asked what he expects to accomplish in his first six months, Reiber thinks listening and learning is at the top of his list.
“My first six months is going to be a lot of listening. But also laying the groundwork for the mindset that we need to go forward. An example of that is we need to start new traditions for our students. We have Georgia Southern traditions. We have Armstrong traditions. We need to have new Georgia Southern traditions.”
Although Reiber will be learning a lot in the beginning of his tenure, he definitely has ideas about where the University needs to go.
“I don’t want to be a bull in a china shop. I want to make sure I’m sensitive to the hard work that’s been done. But I also want to put a very strategic angle on how we move forward. We have to be very conscious of who our students are, and what their demands are. ”
Reiber is also keen on furthering partnerships with other area institutions to provide educational opportunities that grow with the expected business expansion in southeast Georgia.
“The entities have to work together. So you’ve got Savannah State. You’ve got East Georgia. I certainly want to see how we can collaborate and work with SCAD.”
Reiber has an interesting take on how he thinks that his past experiences at UNLV can be applied to his new job at Georgia Southern.
“I’ve always been very student-focused. I’ve always been involved in students’ success. And that just comes with me here. But there are many things here that are ahead of what we were doing in Nevada.”
Although not his primary responsibility, Reiber also serves as professor of biology. When asked if he’ll be able to have any time for research, his answer provides insight into his philosophy.
“I’ll have a lab on the Armstrong campus,” said Reiber. “Fundamentally, I really do believe in leading by example. So I’ve always felt that if I can kick a paper out now and again, then other faculty can kick a paper out now and again. If I can write a grant proposal and be successful, then others can do the same.”
The same goes for teaching.
“I would like to at least get in front of students and do guest lectures in biology, and maybe first-year seminars, etc. I want to make sure that I’m working with students and hearing from them, not filtered through several layers of administration.”
He foresees great growth potential for southeast Georgia.
“I just truly believe this area is poised to expand quite rapidly. You have to have the educational opportunities to prepare the workforce,” said Reiber. “Major businesses don’t relocate to areas, or expand their operation, unless they have a pipeline for well-educated individuals.”
For Reiber, the future looks bright for Georgia Southern.
“I don’t think that there are too many institutions in the country that are going to be afforded the opportunities that Georgia Southern will. You have a large student population. A brand that is known. You have a major port facility. Major rail facilities. An airport that has ability to expand. All make Savannah, and the axis between Statesboro and Savannah, prime real estate for growth. It has all of the elements.”
Reiber is happy to be at Georgia Southern, and thinks that the South makes it even more appealing.
“The southern part of the country is where my wife and I both come from. There’s something about the South that is just very, very nice. That’s what I came from, and I’m happy to be back.”
— Liz Walker
Prior to joining Georgia Southern, Reiber served as the senior vice provost at UNLV. He started his academic career at UNLV in the Department of Biological Sciences in 1993. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from George Mason University in 1984 and 1987 and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1992. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Florida, Gainesville in the Department of Zoology from 1992 to 1993.