The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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Dean of Fresno State interviews for provost position

Audra Gullquist
Denise Seabert presents herself during the provost open sessions Wednesday afternoon. Seabert serves as the dean of the College of Health and Human Services at the University of California at Fresno.

After serving as a dean at Fresno State, Denise Seabert hopes to return to the Midwest as Eastern’s new provost. 

“I think it’s important to know why am I looking at Eastern Illinois University at this point in my life,” Seabert said during her open interview Wednesday. “I have been in some pretty neat institutions. I spent 15 years at Ball State. I’m looking for my Ball State again; I’m looking for that place where I feel like I am part of the community, not just the campus community, but the community and a place that I can go stay for a period of time and grow myself and help others grow.”

Seabert expressed that she believed her experience of providing in-service training to teachers for over 20 years and over-seeing the academic success of over 4,300 students at Fresno State will allow her to adequately serve Eastern.

Prior to becoming the dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Fresno State, Seabert served as dean of the Usha Kundu MD College of Health at the University of West Florida. She also spent 15 years at Ball State University, filling various roles such as associate dean for external affairs and community engagement, director of the university’s Center for International Programs and chair of the physiology and health science department.

As an undergraduate student, Seabert became involved with Eta Sigma Gamma National Health Education Honorary, where she has served as the national secretary treasurer for around 12 years.

“We have chapters, eight plus chapters across the country, and throughout my career that has really helped me stay connected to students because it’s a student honorary,” Seabert said. “They’re doing teaching, research, service and advocacy in the community.” 

Seabert’s main interest in Eastern comes from her desire to serve an institution that prioritizes their community and students, as well as an institution that dedicates themselves on “who we serve and why we do what we do.”

“So students are why I do what I do, but access and affordability are really important,” she said. “Being at a public regional institution is part of my mission as I pursue other opportunities.”

A provost must work across all colleges, which Seabert said she is well accustomed to, since she has worked across campus her entire career.

Seabert believes that her knowledge of the Midwest allows her to not only improve Eastern but also better the community. 

“Being at a place that is community focused is also central to my being because I think that’s part of what makes the college experience most diverse,” Seabert said. “Not just for the students, but it’s how we attract diverse faculty and staff to our campus and make sure that this is a place of belonging for all.”


Audra Gullquist can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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Audra Gullquist
Audra Gullquist, Assistant News Editor
Audra Gullquist is a junior journalism major. She previously served as editor-in-chief at The Navigator.

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