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Jan. 3, 2020

APUE associate provost focuses on student success

Mark Largent has been appointed to serve as associate provost for the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and dean of Undergraduate Studies. 

“I feel fortunate to work with so many amazing professionals, including the nearly 200 employees and 300 students that are part of APUE,” Largent said.

APUE oversees undergraduate academic policies and facilitates institutional initiatives focused on enhancing undergraduate learning. This includes everything from the orientation and welcoming of first-year students to the enhancement and oversight of selected academic programs and co-curricular initiatives. The main goal of APUE is to make sure that students attending MSU have the utmost success during their time on campus.

“APUE has two functions: administrative and leadership,” Largent said. “The administrative function deals with programs such as gen-ed requirements, integrated studies and others that give an equitable education opportunity to students, while the leadership aspect deals with creating a cohesive thread for students between colleges.”

Largent, who had served as interim provost for the last 16 months, has been an instrumental part of the office’s success.

“I served as interim associate provost in a pretty tumultuous time for the university,” he said. “There was a lot of change, but also progress. If we can do good work at such a time, I’m confident in the great work we can do in the future.”

Largent has implemented many new initiatives since he began his position, such as telling what he calls “normal stories” through the Student Success Express, a format that offers him the opportunity to receive candid, authentic responses from students about their experiences.

“My colleague Renata Opoczynski showed me a YouTube video of former MSU Provost Kim Wilcox talking with students in a golf cart around campus,” Largent said. “It made me think: What could we do with media like that?

“We concluded that students need a voice, an opportunity to openly talk about all of their real experiences, how student life really is,” he said. “We’re able to relatively quickly offer opportunities for students to answer questions and give their real feedback.”

Projects such as the Student Success Express are a quintessential example of what Largent and APUE aim to achieve: hearing and helping students of all backgrounds and experiences succeed as Spartans.

Largent recently served as interim dean of Lyman Briggs College and prior to that served as the college’s associate dean for research and faculty development. He arrived at MSU in 2005 as an assistant professor in James Madison College.

For more information about the services the APUE office offers, visit here.

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