Doctor Laura Reynolds

Dr. Laura K. Reynolds

Dec. 6, 2021–Dr. Laura K. Reynolds will be the next provost and vice president of academic affairs at Missouri Western State University, effective July 5, 2022. Dr. Reynolds is currently dean of the College of Education, Human Performance, and Health at the University of South Carolina Upstate.

I am confident that Laura’s combination of experience, skills and enthusiasm will be a tremendous asset for Missouri Western as she leads Academic Affairs,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kennedy, Missouri Western’s president. “She will ably lead the implementation of our new Master Academic Plan and Academic Program Review, will expand our commitment to our applied learning mission, and will help us identify programs and strategies to continue meeting the workforce needs of the region we serve.”

“I am honored to be joining Missouri Western, and am excited to contribute to the impact it has on the lives of students as well as the region and state,” Dr. Reynolds said. “The faculty and staff at MWSU are passionate about the students and community they serve, and the impact on students is evident. I believe the applied learning mission of Missouri Western, combined with the commitment of faculty and staff and excellent strategic and academic planning create even greater opportunities to support the success of students.”

Dr. Reynolds has been at USC Upstate since 2018. Previously, she served as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in educational psychology and research from the University of South Carolina, her Master of Arts in history from Midwestern State University in Texas and her Bachelor of Arts in social science with area studies in Russian, geography and political science from Michigan State University. 

The provost and vice president of academic affairs is Missouri Western’s chief academic officer, overseeing the College of Business and Professional Studies, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Health, Graduate School, and a number of academic support units.

Dr. Reynolds will succeed Dr. Marc Manganaro, who has served as interim provost since July 1 following the retirement of Dr. Douglas Davenport.

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit