Montana Western Provost Search Finalists Announced

The University of Montana Western Provost Search Committee is pleased to announce that four finalists will be visiting the UMW campus November 8th - 16th.


The four finalists include Matthew Redinger, Ashley Carlson, John Ernst, and Johnny MacLean. Each finalist will be visiting UMW to meet with various departments and attend open forums with Montana Western students, faculty, and staff.



Matthew Redinger

Matthew Redinger received his Doctor of Philosophy in History from the University of Washington in 1993, his Master of Arts in History from the University of Montana in 1988, and his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Montana in 1986. His areas of academic specialization are Modern Latin American History, the United States in the 20th Century, and US-Latin American Relations.

Serving as Professor of History at Montana State University Billings from 1996-2018, he also served at MSU-B as Department Chair of History from 2005-2012, then as Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs for one year before serving from 2013-18 as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Redinger then went on to become the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History at the University of Providence in 2018 and holds this position currently.

In his position at the University of Providence, he serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet, chairs the campus Academic Excellence workstream, and supervises the Directors of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, (which includes Core/General Education, Library, and Teaching and Learning Excellence), as well as the University Registrar, Dean of Arts and Sciences, and the Executive Dean of Health Professions.

He also implements the recommendations of the Resource and Program Optimization team, administers budgets for the division of Academic Affairs, coordinates facilities planning for Academic Affairs, collaborates with Vice Presidents of Enrollment Management, Operations, and Student Engagement, and leads institutional accreditation efforts.



Ashley Carlson

Currently serving as Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Montana Western, Ashley Carlson earned her B.A. in English and French from Chapman University in 2003, and both her M.A. (2005) and Ph.D. in English literature (2011) from the University of New Mexico, where her research focused on nineteenth-century literature. Her research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century women’s literature, science and literature, cultural studies, television, and popular culture. In 2019, she received a Fulbright Scholar Award to teach and conduct research in Madagascar. As a Professor of English at Montana Western since 2015, Carlson teaches courses in British literature, cultural studies, and composition.

In addition to serving as Interim Provost since spring 2021, other administrative and leadership positions at Montana Western Carlson has held include serving as the Division Chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences (2020-present), as Department Chair of English (2019-20), as English Department Senator for Faculty Senate, (Chair in 2020, and 2016-18), and as Vice-President of the Montana Western Faculty Association (2018-19).

She also currently serves on the Strategic Enrollment Management Committee, Strategic Planning Report Out / Academic and Administrative Council, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce, and the Honors Committee.



John Ernst

John Ernst, Professor of History in the Department of History, Philosophy, Politics, Global Studies & Legal Studies at Morehead State University, received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Kentucky in 1995, his M.A. in History from Eastern Kentucky University in 1988, and his B.A. in History from Eastern Kentucky University in 1985.

Serving a three-year term from 2017-20 as Dean of the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, at Morehead State University, he also served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success from 2015-17.

As Dean, he provided leadership to a college of 2,000 students, 48 major and minor programs, 131 faculty members and staff, a budget of $11.6 million, with vision and oversight for recruitment, retention, and academic programs. As Associate Vice President, he supervised a unit of nearly thirty individuals, providing oversight to the areas of Academic Advising and Retention, First Year Programs, Minority Academic Services and Retention, and College Readiness.

Ernst is also a member of several organizations, including the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Southern Historical Association and the Kentucky Association of Teachers of History.



Johnny MacLean

Johnny MacLean completed his B.S. in Geology at Furman University in 2001, his M.S. degree in Earth Science at Syracuse University in 2004, and a Ph.D. in Geosciences at the University of Montana in 2007. Upon completion of his academic studies, MacLean worked in the oil and gas industry in Texas as a geologist and in the environmental consulting industry in Montana.

As an Associate Professor of Geology at Southern Utah University, Dr. MacLean takes his students outside to learn from nature and to see concepts come to life. His authentic teaching style and passion for the outdoors creates a curriculum based on the ideals found in SUU’s mission: to engage students in experiential education leading to personal growth, civic responsibility, and professional excellence.

Serving in the Office of the Provost since 2016 at Southern Utah University, he currently serves as Associate Provost (2020-present), and served as Assistant Provost for Faculty Affairs (2018-20) and as Provost Faculty Fellow (2016-18).



While serving in the Office of the Provost, MacLean has been involved in the supervision of the following offices, including budgetary and financial planning: Institutional Effectiveness, Center of Excellence for Teaching & Learning, Online Teaching & Learning, Sponsored Programs, Agreements, Research, & Contracts (Grants Office), Library, Concurrent Enrollment, Career & Technical Education, General Education Program, Honors Program, Institutional Review Board (IRB), APEX Events (lecture series), and the Festival of Excellence (experiential learning conference).

For more information, please email communications@umwestern.edu.

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