The university announced President Geoffrey S. Mearns selected Susana Rivera-Mills as the new provost and executive vice president for academic affairs Monday. 

Rivera-Mills will oversee all academic colleges and units as well as implement the new strategic plan, according to a press release. 

“Susana is committed to creating a learning environment that enables all students to reach their full potential, and she has a proven track record for developing the types of programs and building the necessary partnerships that will enable our University to fulfill our aspirational mission,” Mearns said in the release. 

Rivera-Mills, who will take replace interim Provost Marilyn Buck July 1, previously taught and held administrative roles at Oregon State University. She earned a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Iowa and received a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.

“My vision is to create a learning environment where all students have the opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential,” Rivera-Mills said in the press release. “We will implement this vision through collaboration from all campus units, building partnerships, focusing efforts to strengthen existing programs, identifying synergies, and establishing a clear road map.”

Rivera-Mills, who came to the U.S. as an immigrant from El Salvador, has completed various scholarly research projects that focus on Latino communities, Spanish language and culture and issues in sociolinguistics, according to the release. 

“What I have valued the most is being at a university whose mission positions us to serve communities,” Rivera-Mills said. “I am a builder by nature. I enjoy building partnerships and fostering a sense of community that creates a collective vision. I think Ball State University will allow me to continue my commitment to serve communities, promote positive town and gown relationships and address a broader range of needs to advance the public good in a significant way.”

Rivera-Mills’ hiring follows a six-month national search.