McKendree University Appoints New Provost

Lebanon, Ill. - McKendree President James M. Dennis announced the appointment of Dr. Christine M. Bahr as the university's new provost and dean, effective July 1, 2008.

Bahr is currently the interim vice president for academic affairs at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., where her responsibilities include academic leadership and administration of eight undergraduate program departments and six graduate programs, including the college's distance education program. She will succeed McKendree Provost Dr. Gerald Duff who is retiring in December.

"We are delighted to have Dr. Bahr join the McKendree University family,'' Dennis said. "Her academic record, personality and work ethic will contribute greatly to the continuing success of this institution."

As McKendree's chief academic officer, Bahr will report to and work closely with the president to provide academic direction to the university community. The provost has administrative responsibility for all academic affairs, including curriculum and academic programs, faculty recruitment and advancement.

"I am thrilled and honored to have been invited to join the McKendree University community,'' Bahr said. "McKendree is clearly an institution on the move, with a long, rich history and a bright future. McKendree has achieved remarkable growth, exemplified by its recent transformation from college to university, while emphasizing the quality of its programs and services.''

Bahr has an extensive academic and administrative background. She served as assistant academic dean at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, before assuming the interim vice presidency in 2006. She joined the faculty of the college in 1999, was promoted to professor in 2005 and has served as the chair of the education department. She has also served as an associate professor at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich., and as a research project coordinator for the Department of Special Education, George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

"From the moment I stepped foot on McKendree's campus, I felt a sense of spirit and pride among the students, faculty and staff,'' Bahr said. "I look forward to joining the McKendree family, getting to know everyone, and working closely with President Dennis and the leadership team. I am grateful for this opportunity, and I pledge to work tirelessly to serve the McKendree University community.''

Bahr, who is originally from St. Louis, holds a Ph.D. in special education from Indiana University. She earned a master's degree in educational administration and supervision at Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville and a bachelor's degree in special education from Fontbonne College in St. Louis.

Bahr currently resides in Terre Haute, Ind. Her husband Dr. Michael W. Bahr is an associate professor at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. They have four children: twins Joe and Justin, 20; Emily, 17, and Ryan, 14.

McKendree is ranked among the top 14 percent of "Best Baccalaureate Colleges" in the nation by U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2008."  The university's campus in Lebanon, Ill., is just 25 miles from St. Louis. McKendree also has campuses in Louisville and Radcliff, Ky., and offers off-campus programs at Scott Air Force Base and sites throughout Illinois and Kentucky. For more information about McKendree, visit the university's Web site at