New Senior Vice Provost Appointed at UTEP

After conducting a national search, The University of Texas at El Paso has selected Cheryl Torsney, Ph.D., to be senior vice provost for the University. Her appointment will begin in mid-July. 

Torsney most recently served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Her past administrative experience also includes service as vice president and dean of the college at Hiram College, and associate provost for academic programs at West Virginia University. 

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Torsney join UTEP,” said Junius Gonzales, Ph.D., provost and vice president of academic affairs at UTEP. “She has both depth and breadth in higher education administration and brings a great resolve to enhancing student success at every level.”  

Torsney holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida and an M.A. in English from Louisiana State University. In addition to her administrative service, her higher education experience includes roles as director of graduate studies, department chair and professor of English at West Virginia University (1985-2009) and at Hiram College (2009-11).  Her research focuses on the benefits and uses of a liberal arts education and American material culture. She was the recipient of two Fulbright fellowships to teach in the Netherlands and France, and has published extensively in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. 

“I look forward to working with President Natalicio, Provost Gonzales, the administration, faculty, staff and especially UTEP students,” Torsney said. “I am impressed by the University’s commitment to access and excellence and am eager to get to work.” 

While at Hiram College, Torsney increased the school's revenue by developing summer programs. She also ensured reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission and secured a Carnegie Engaged Institution designation. Torsney initiated and restructured the promotion and tenure process, reinstated the foreign language requirement for graduation, and laid the groundwork for approving online programs. 

As associate provost at West Virginia University, she improved retention rates, transformed the Honors College (which experienced a 300 percent growth), and oversaw the university’s 10-year reaccreditation. Under her leadership, the university received accolades from the Higher Learning Commission for its “notable success in its turn-around with assessment.” 

She also has had experiences with special student groups and populations, including first-year students, ROTC/AFROTC cadets and veteran students, and McNair Scholars. She helped to create a Veterans Resource Center and a Hillel chapter, which was named outstanding student diversity club.