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Western welcomes Ann Pearce

The Western family will welcome a new faculty member. Ann Pearce, Special Assistant to President Vartabedian, who will replace Beth Wheeler, Director of External Relations.

According to Wheeler, Pearce has extensive experience that will benefit Western. “Her extensive experience in higher education include working with the Missouri Department of Higher Education and the General Assembly,” Wheeler said. “She is a great fit for Western.”

Ann Pearce will not take the title of Director of External Relations; she receives her own title as the Special Assistant to the University President. According to Pearce she will take on many of the same duties as Wheeler.

“The duties include governmental relations at the local, state, and federal levels,” Pearce said. “Also being a university liaison with the greater St. Joseph community and with decision makers throughout the state.”

According to President Vartabedian, Ann Pearce has the experience Western needs.

“Ms. Pearce has 25 years of impressive experience at the University of Central Missouri,” Vartabedian said. “She has a track record of effective performance in the areas of expertise that we were seeking.”

President Vartabedian states that she is responsible for all things governmental from local to federal level. “She is primarily responsible for building and sustaining strong and positive leadership with those in influential and decision making roles,” Vartabedian said.

Though she is the  Special Assistant, rumors have circulated as to whether  Ms. Pearce would  receive her own parking space. According to Pearce the rumors are true.

“I do have my own parking space, and it is justified,” Pearce said. “I will not be sitting behind my desk all day.”  The position requires Pearce to travel quite a bit on and off campus. Pearce states that she must be confident that there will be a space for her when she returns to campus for her meetings.

According to Pearce she is ready to get to work.

“I am anxious to meet as many members of the Missouri Western family as I can, and to work closely with them to hear their views,” Pearce said. “The more I researched the university the more I was impressed by it.”

President Vartabedian stated that Pearce stood out as having both extensive legislative and academic experience. “I have been very impressed with Ms. Pearce’s willingness to ‘go the extra mile’,” Vartabedian said, “and do whatever is needed to be done to further the goals of Missouri Western.”

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