Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Provost 2021-10-05T09:38:09+00:00

Welcome to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Office

The Division of Academic Affairs creates, supports, and enhances a faculty-driven and student-centered academic environment which frames the University’s mission and vision.  The Office of the Provost provides academic leadership and oversight that supports excellence in faculty teaching, research, and creative endeavors, provides support for the Student Experience, and cultivates growing relationships with advisory committees, industry partners, and community connections.  It facilitates the establishment of programs, policies, procedures, and standards for the selection, evaluation, and development of faculty and staff, the review of academic programs, and the support of the University strategic plan in accomplishing the University’s mission and academic goals.

Academic Affairs coordinates the University’s various colleges, programs, and services to maintain a coherent institutional perspective, and to ensure that the needs and character of individual programs are addressed within the institutional framework

Northwestern State University’s Graduate School maintains as its mission and purpose to develop, provide, and support innovative, responsive, and accessible graduate programs of the highest quality. The Graduate School encourages mastery of disciplinary literature, innovative research, and professional development and practice opportunities. It further supports research by members of its scholarly community. The Graduate School is a source of intellectual capital for the University and contributes to the public welfare of the region, state, and nation.
The Dean of the Graduate School, along with the Graduate Council supervises graduate study at Northwestern State University. All correspondence should be addressed to the Office of the Dean. You may also contact the office via e-mail.

The University Recruiting Office serves as an entry point for prospective graduate students to begin the application and enrollment processes. The assistant director of university recruiting for graduate & adult studies may be contacted by phone at 318.357.5851 or via e-mail at Visit the graduate school website at for more information.


Dr. Greg Handel, D.M.A.
Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Graduate School

The College of Arts and Sciences (COAS), the largest college at Northwestern State University, is a diverse community of scholars, teachers, and students, working collaboratively to acquire, create, and disseminate knowledge through transformational, high-impact, experiential learning practices, research, and service. The College strives to produce graduates who are productive members of society equipped to promote economic and social development and improve the overall quality of life in our region, state, and nation. The College provides an unequaled undergraduate education in the social and behavioral sciences, English, communication, journalism, media arts, engineering technology, biological and physical sciences, and the creative and performing arts, and at the graduate level in the creative and performing arts, English, TESOL, and Homeland Security. Uniquely, COAS houses the Louisiana Scholars’ College (the State’s designated honors College), the Louisiana Folklife Center, and the Creole Center, demonstrating its commitment to community service, research, and the preservation of Louisiana’s precious resources.

In addition to being the largest of the colleges at the university, COAS is also one of the most diverse. Its two large Schools (the School of Creative and Performing Arts and the School of Biological and Physical Sciences) bookend the state’s designated honor’s college and the departments that complete the liberal arts and sciences experience at Northwestern State. Our diversity is illustrated by the breadth of the degrees and concentrations we offer, the activities we present, the outreach we complete, and the courses we provide.

The faculty of the COAS teach the core liberal arts curriculum for all undergraduate students at the University regardless of their major. Through this core curriculum, we improve students’ writing and speaking, expand students’ aptitude in mathematics and its applications, strengthen students’ understanding of the biological, physical, social, and behavioral sciences, and develop their appreciation and knowledge of the arts and humanities. We believe that this knowledge and abilities are essential to all college graduates. We invite you to explore the many wonderful opportunities provided within the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Gallaspy Family College of Education & Human Development (GCEHD) is committed to working collaboratively to acquire, create, & disseminate knowledge to Northwestern students through transformational, high impact experiential learning practices, research, & service. The College produces knowledgeable, inspired, and innovative graduates ready for lifelong learning who contribute to the communities in which they reside and professions they serve. All academic units within GCEHD are service-focused and include the School of Education and Departments of Health and Human Performance, Military Science, Psychology, and Social Work.

Additionally, the GCEHD includes units supportive of both academic departments and communities around our campuses including the Marie Shaw Dunn Child Development Center, NSU Elementary Laboratory School, NSU Middle Laboratory School, and the NSU Child and Family Network. These schools and support units assist children, parents, and educators as they learn and develop.

Distinguished faculty, staff, and administrators form a community of current practitioners who successfully integrate professional preparation, technology, and research into opportunities for students to become the next generation of leaders and innovators in their respective fields. Our faculty maintain in-depth professional knowledge, current research, and respect for the communities they serve. The GCEHD has forged partnerships with community agencies, school systems, other postsecondary educational institutions, and community-based organizations through our undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, and continues to be engaged in collaborative efforts in pursuit of our mission. We invite you to explore the opportunities found within the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development.

Northwestern State University was the first public institution in Louisiana to establish a baccalaureate program in nursing, welcoming its first students in 1949. The College of Nursing was also the first in the state to offer a master’s degree in nursing. NSU offers an Associate of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, LPN to ASN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN program, Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Classes are available on Northwestern State campuses in Shreveport, Alexandria, Leesville/Fort Polk and Natchitoches. NSU’s College of Nursing is known throughout the state for graduating highly qualified nurses.

The School of Allied Health at Northwestern State University of Louisiana is dedicated to providing high quality undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare individuals for a variety of professional healthcare roles and to be conscientious, contributing members of their profession and society. Radiologic Sciences is a healthcare profession combining state-of-the-art technology and imaging techniques with human compassion to provide a rewarding career. Through the use of ionizing radiation, radiologic technologists produce diagnostic images used for the diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury. As professionals, radiographers are required to observe the ethical and professional standards expected of all persons involved in caring for patients in health care settings

College of Business and Technology offers a bachelor’s degree in the areas of Accounting, Business Administration, and Computer Information Systems under the School of Business which is accredited by AACSB. AACSB is the gold standard in quality accreditation for Colleges of Business. Less than 5% of Colleges worldwide hold this accreditation. Numerous concentrations and minors are associated with these areas.  Also, the College includes Hospitality Management and Tourism with concentrations in culinary arts, hospitality services, travel and tourism. The following degrees are offered online: Accounting, Business Administration, and Computer Information Systems. We have approximately 32 faculty members, and 1,265 students. 

Greg A. Handel, D.M.A.
Greg A. Handel, D.M.A.Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs; Dean of Graduate School; Professor of Music Education
Greg Handel serves as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dean of The Graduate School, and Professor of Music Education at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Prior to his current appointment, he served Northwestern State as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts. Handel held the position of Instructor of Music and Assistant Director of Bands at Augustana College (SD), and served Arizona State University as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Sun Devil Bands program, as well as serving as a Graduate Intern in the Music Education Practicum class at ASU.

He has taught all levels of instrumental music in both the public schools of Sioux Falls, SD, and Tempe, AZ. He has also been published in the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, and the Music Educator’s Journal, and recently collaborated on a project presented at the International Symposium for Assessment in Music Education held in Bremen, Germany.

Handel has served on the board for the Louisiana Partnership of the Arts, and as the University Research chair for the Louisiana Music Educators Association. He is a member of Phi Beta Mu, Phi Kappa Phi, NAfME, College Music Society, MayDay Group, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, and Phi Mu Alpha. He is also active in the history Special Research Interest Group (SRIG) sponsored by the Society for Research in Music Education, as well as a member of Society for Music Teacher Education. Dr. Handel received the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Augustana College (SD), the Master of Music degree in Music Education from Arizona State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree with cognates in historical research and instrumental conducting from Arizona State University.

Francene J. Lemoine, Ph.D.
Francene J. Lemoine, Ph.D.Professor and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Francene J. Lemoine joined the faculty of Northwestern State in 2006 as an Assistant Professor of Biology. Since that time, she has served as the Director of the School of Biological and Physical Sciences (2015 – 2019) and is currently the Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Her educational background includes a B.S. in Biology from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine, and post-doctoral fellowships at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University Medical Center. She teaches a variety of biology courses for the university (including Biological Principles I, Cell Biology, and Virology) and advises the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society. Dr. Lemoine is passionate about student and faculty engagement and enthusiastically serves Northwestern State as well as its students, alumni, and community.
Dr. Curtis Penrod
Dr. Curtis PenrodDean- College of Business and Technology & Director-School of Business
Dr. Curtis Penrod is the Senior Coordinator of Business Programs and an Associate Professor in the Northwestern State University College of Business and Technology (COBT). In this role, Dr. Penrod helps oversee the various degree programs in the COBT, including the BS in Accounting, BS in Business Administration, BS and MS in Computer Information Systems (CIS), BS in Hospitality Management and Tourism, PBC in Business Analytics, and UC in Business Analytics. . Dr. Penrod has worked at NSU for approximately 15 years, first in the Office of Institutional Research and now in the COBT. Dr. Penrod holds an BS in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems from Northwestern State University, MBA from Louisiana State University – Shreveport, a GC in CIS from Georgia Southwestern State University, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in Applied Computer Science from Northcentral University.
Dr. Joel Hicks
Dr. Joel HicksDean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health
Joel Hicks began serving as the Dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health in July 2021. Prior to that appointment, Dr. Hicks served as the Interim Dean and Assistant Dean. Dr. Hicks joined Northwestern State University as a faculty member within in the School of Allied Health in 2010. Within the School of Allied Health, he served as a Clinical Coordinator (2013-2017) and as the Director of the School of Allied Health (2017-2020).

Before joining Northwestern State University, Dr. Hicks worked for 16 years at various healthcare institutions in northwest Louisiana. Dr. Hicks first earned a certificate in radiologic technology in 1994. To further his education, he pursued a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences degree from NSU, which was completed in 1994. In 2009, he earned a Master of Science in Radiologic Science Administration from Midwestern State University, in Wichita Falls. Texas. He then completed a Doctor of Education from Grambling State University in 2016. His dissertation focus was on academic advising in online programs. Dr. Hicks also participated in the fourth cohort of the ULS Management and Leadership Institute.

Hicks is active in state radiologic science professional societies, previously serving as the President and Chair of the Louisiana Society of Radiologic Technologists. He also serves as a site visitor for the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, which is the only agency authorized to oversee the accreditation of educational programs in radiologic sciences.

Dr. Hicks is passionate about the life-changing benefits that nursing and allied health education brings to students, their families, and society. Working with the faculty and staff of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, Dr. Hicks sincerely wants every student to be successful and to reach their educational goals.

Kimberly Walker McAlister, Ed.D.
Kimberly Walker McAlister, Ed.D. Dean of the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development; Associate Professor of Education
Dr. McAlister began serving as the Dean of the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development at Northwestern State University of Louisiana in January 2018. Prior to her current position, she served as an instructor while pursuing her doctorate (1998-2004), an Assistant Professor (2004-2010), the Coordinator as Assessment and Undergraduate Studies for the College of Education (2005-2010), Head of the Department of Teaching and Learning (2010-2014), and Head of the Department of Teaching, Leadership, and Counseling (2014-2017). McAlister taught high school mathematics and computer science in schools across Louisiana, including Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, and Alexandria.

Her educational background includes a B.S. in Mathematics Education from Northeast Louisiana University, M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Northwestern State, and Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

McAlister is active professionally, serving as president of the Louisiana Association of Colleges in Teacher Education (LACTE). This position requires significant collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Education as teacher preparation providers seek ways to increase the number of teachers while improving preparation to meet the needs of 21st learners.

McAlister serves as a site visitor for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This organization provides national standards and accreditation for teacher preparation providers in more than 20 states. Recently, McAlister began serving as co-Principal Investigator for an U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership grant with the Orchard Foundation, to increase the number of highly qualified science and math teachers certified to teach in Central Louisiana.

Her research interests focus on alternative certification, pathways to teach, and teacher self-efficacy. Dr. McAlister is passionate about students, the opportunities an education provides, and the trajectory of growth possible. She is passionate about Northwestern State, and its students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Caspari Administrative Services
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318-357-6888 (phone) 318-357-4517 (fax)