MTSU adds vice provost to focus on retention, graduation

Exec has been at Central Missouri for more than two decades

Middle Tennessee State University has created a new vice provost position focused on student retention and success and recruited a University of Central Missouri executive to fill it.

Rick Sluder will start work in Murfreesboro on Sept. 15 and be a key part of Quest for Student Success, MTSU officials’ push to lift their graduation rate by at least 10 points to 62 percent in the next six years. Sluder has been at Central Missouri since 1992 and has worked as vice provost for recruitment and outreach since late 2010. Before that, he was dean of the school’s College of Health and Human Services and a professor of criminal justice.

“MTSU is an exceptional institution with strong faculty, committed staff and a vibrant campus environment,” Sluder said. “I look forward to beginning my work, knowing that we can further enhance student persistence and completion rates.”

Sluder’s new job will, in the words of MTSU officials, “be particularly focused on creating a learning environment where high expectations for student learning are linked to a[n] … effective system of academic support initiatives.” MTSU now has more than 24,000 undergraduate students.

“We are excited about Dr. Sluder joining the MTSU family,” said University Provost Brad Bartel. “He brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge about student success issues and a proven track record of accomplishments.”