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Hinga appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 22, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has appointed Dr. Bethany D. Hinga to serve as vice president for academic affairs, effective June 1.


“On behalf of the entire Newberry College community, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Hinga as our new VPAA. She will be an asset to the College as we continue to prepare our students for lifetime success,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “I want to thank the search committee for their commitment and expert analysis throughout this process, and our students, faculty and staff for their time and insight.”


Hinga brings 28 years of experience in higher education, with the last 14 years in leadership, most recently as assistant to the senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska at Kearney since 2017.


Previously, she served as associate dean for academic affairs at Morningside University; director of assessment at the University of Nebraska at Kearney; and chair of the Department of Chemistry, Geosciences & Environmental Science at Tarleton State University. Before moving into administration, Hinga served as associate professor of geosciences at Tarleton State from 1996 to 2012.


In her new role, Hinga will provide leadership for faculty and oversight for the college’s instructional programs and academic support services, all with a commitment to student academic and career success.


“I'm so thrilled to be joining the Newberry College community,” said Hinga. “From the moment I stepped on campus it felt like home. I look forward to working with the faculty, students, staff and executive team to help Newberry grow and flourish in the years ahead.”


Hinga received a very favorable response from students, faculty and staff, and survey respondents stated they were enthusiastic or very enthusiastic about her candidacy.


“Dr. Hinga stood out from the 108 candidates in both the knowledge and skillset needed to lead academic affairs at Newberry College,” said Dr. David Harpool, chair of the search committee and special advisor to the president.


Hinga will be in Newberry periodically between now and June to participate in college events and to relocate to the area.


Hinga is the author of “Ring of Fire: An Encyclopedia of the Pacific Rim’s Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes” (ABC-CLIO, 2015), and “Earth's Natural Hazards and Disasters” (Wiley/American Geophysical Union, 2024). She was also a contributing author and science advisor to the “Ring of Fire” episode of the Peacock series “The End is Nye,” starring Bill Nye.


She holds a doctorate in geological sciences from Southern Methodist University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in geology from Baylor University. Her husband, Gilbert, has built a higher education career in student affairs. The couple has two children, Ben and Semira, as well as two dogs, a cat and a parakeet.

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