GSW associate VP for Academic Affairs named provost, Wingate University
AMERICUS – Georgia Southwestern State University’s (GSW) associate vice president for academic affairs was recently named provost of Wingate University in North Carolina starting in the fall of 2016. After a nationwide search, Helen Tate, Ph.D., was selected to serve as Wingate’s first provost since the 1990s. Retired assistant vice president Lynda Lee Purvis will fill Tate’s role in the interim until a permanent replacement is selected.
“I’m very excited and a little nervous as I know this position is an important one to the institution’s future direction,” Tate said. “When interviewing and going through this process, I wanted to be sure that I felt confident that I would bring to the institution what it needs most. I was just thrilled to receive the offer.”
“We are very proud of Dr. Tate and all that she has accomplished during her time at Georgia Southwestern,” said Charles Patterson, Ph.D., GSW interim president. “The energy and excitement that she will bring to Wingate will serve them well in her new role as provost.”
Tate is thankful for her time at Georgia Southwestern.
“GSW has been an excellent place to expand my knowledge of higher education administration, and to contribute some of my knowledge and experience in ways that have really benefited the institution and the students,” Tate said.
Tate has served GSW in many capacities, including bridging the university’s international programs. She recently returned from China where she worked on a new collaboration with the Henan Association of International Exchange. She has also been very involved with campus life as an advisor to the Student Government Association. She was named “Staff Member of the Year” her first year at GSW by the organization.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of being at GSW has been the students,” she said. “Spending time with these wonderful students not only kept me connected to student issues, it fed my soul. They are a concrete reminder that what we do as administrators really does impact the daily lives of our students. I hope I will find the right kind of student connection at Wingate as well. That’s really why we’re all doing what we do, after all.”
Tate, who joined GSW in 2012 as associate vice president and professor in communications, will be leaving GSW on Aug. 1.
“We are sorry to see Dr. Tate leave us, but are very glad for her and her new promotion,” said Brian Adler, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. “I know she will do a great job as provost at Wingate University. Dr. Tate helped us here with her considerable skill sets, her boundless energy, and her not inconsiderable sense of humor. She is a person who puts her entire being into the work at hand, and I think the university as a whole will miss her.”
Prior to coming to GSW, Tate served as division head of Arts and Communication Studies at Columbia College. She also served as chair for the Department of Communication and Theatre and interim director of the First-Year Student Success Team.
In addition, Tate served as the Future Faculty Teaching Fellow at Indiana University-Kokomo’s Department of Communication Arts, associate instructor and peer mentor at Indiana University, and instructor of speech at Lamar University at Orange.
Tate earned a bachelor of arts in speech communication, a minor in French and a master of arts in speech communication from Idaho State University. She earned a doctoral in speech communication and a minor in gender studies from Indiana University in Bloomington.