BEMIDJI -- Bemidji State University announced on Tuesday that Allen Bedford has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“Bedford has a well-developed idea of the role Bemidji State University can play in our region,” BSU President Faith Hensrud said in a release. “He has shown an ability to build relationships across our campus, and he has significant experience with strategic and academic planning through his previous administrative background. He has the experience and demeanor to provide the academic leadership our institution needs, and I’m excited to have him as a member of my administrative team.”

Bedford was selected for the position following a national search. He has been acting provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Bemidji State since March, and has been at BSU since July 2019. Prior to his current role as acting provost, Bedford served as BSU’s associate vice president for academic affairs.

“A high-quality, intellectually free education is society’s most powerful means to achieve and sustain human liberty,” Bedford said in the release. “As we welcome people from all walks of life into a truly unique regional culture and heritage, Bemidji State University has a tremendous opportunity to prepare its graduates to excel in an increasingly interconnected global community, and in ways that value rather than erase the special characteristics of place. I’m thrilled with the opportunity to help facilitate how Bemidji State pursues its mission and lives its values.”

Bedford came to Bemidji State from Bryn Athyn College in Pennsylvania. There, he held a variety of roles, both as a member of the college’s faculty and as an academic administrator.

He joined the faculty at Bryn Athyn in 1995 and served in a variety of roles through his tenure including chair of the mathematics and science division, director of institutional outcomes and assessment and associate dean for academic affairs. He was named dean of academics and chief academic officer in 2010, a position he held until 2017, the release said.

During a 2017-18 sabbatical, Bedford participated in the American Academic Leadership Institute's Executive Leadership Academy, visiting colleges and universities across the country to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing higher education today. After returning from the sabbatical, he taught courses in chemistry, biochemistry, and mathematics at Bryn Athyn while also serving as director of institutional effectiveness.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and science from Bryn Athyn College. He also holds master’s and doctoral degrees in chemistry from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Bedford assumed this role on Monday, May 18, and will work closely with outgoing Provost Tony Peffer over the next 45 days to ensure a smooth transition.