Announcing the provost is stepping down

Dear Texas Woman’s Colleagues,

After a heartfelt discussion with Provost Kapinus, we came to a decision that she would step down from her position as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost sometime after the conclusion of May’s quarterly board meeting.

In my previous message regarding the Faculty Senate’s vote, I noted that I would gather relevant facts to better understand the various perspectives involved in this matter. I appreciate all your feedback and the frank conversations with many of you. The faculty are indeed central to our academic mission, which the provost leads.

At the conclusion of this data-gathering process, Dr. Kapinus and I agreed that in the interests of the university and her own health and wellbeing she would step down. Dr. Kapinus plans to remain with the university, first in helping transition an interim provost and later in a role yet to be determined.

As for an interim, I am looking for someone with previous provost experience. We are undergoing our accreditation reaffirmation process with SACSOC, among many moving parts from the workload policy to strategic enrollment growth. Demonstrated leadership in the provost role will serve the university well.

Although this situation and decision carry many emotions, the arc of Dr. Kapinus’ leadership includes several noteworthy accomplishments. She began as dean of the Graduate School in 2017, and during that tenure as dean, we enjoyed unprecedented growth in new and continuing graduate students.

When Dr. Kapinus started as interim provost in May of 2019, she faced many financial challenges in Academic Affairs. Some were inherited, and others were rooted in structural issues with the funding strategy for part-time and summer faculty appointments. She worked with the CFO and others to create a dedicated budget for these.

Finally, only weeks after the conclusion of a national search when I hired her as provost in March of 2020, the global coronavirus pandemic hit hard. Provost Kapinus had to navigate uncharted waters throughout these past two years, including decisions about student grade assignments, faculty evaluations, course modalities, and commencement ceremonies.
She has also championed faculty voices and new academic programs in front of the board of regents. These include more than two dozen online and hybrid programs in the last year alone. I also want to give her due credit for bringing aboard Deans Mainous and Yelkur, intentionally restructuring the vice provosts and their duties with the faculty in mind, and hiring Drs. Miloch and Figueroa.

Throughout her service to Texas Woman’s, Dr. Kapinus has demonstrated a deeply caring attitude toward others and a genuine commitment to achieving excellence, for which I am truly grateful.

I read recently, “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.” In emerging from the pandemic, I see a similar idea in what we face today, especially when looking across the higher education landscape at everything from shifting perceptions about the value of higher education to the funding strategies. Since we will never be the same, I have gone from looking for normal as a destination and more to the new normal that presents itself each hour and day.

I am eager to continue our journey after arriving at this decision. As I have mentioned before, we may go fast alone, but we will go farther together.

With a pioneering spirit,

Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Chancellor and President

Page last updated 8:34 AM, April 22, 2022