Matt Cecil

Matt Cecil

The Free Press

MANKATO — Matt Cecil, the dean of Minnesota State University’s College of Arts and Humanities, will become the second-in-command to MSU President Richard Davenport on Jan. 13 when Provost Marilyn Wells leaves the school to become a college president in Pennsylvania.

Davenport named Cecil as the interim provost and vice president of academic affairs while a permanent replacement is sought to replace Wells, who was chosen last month to become chancellor at Penn State Brandywine after six years at MSU.

A Brookings, South Dakota, native and graduate of South Dakota State University, Cecil earned master’s degree in history from MSU in 1997 and a doctorate in mass communication from the University of Iowa in 2000. After serving in the faculty at Purdue University, the University of Oklahoma and SDSU, he spent the past decade in administrative positions at SDSU, Wichita State University and MSU.

Cecil is a leading scholar of FBI history, authoring three books and more than two dozen articles in the field. His 2014 book, “Hoover’s FBI and the Fourth Estate,” was named History Book of the Year by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Prior to his academic career, Cecil worked as a political journalist, press secretary and media relations specialist.

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