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From Provost to Professor: Gartner Will Return to Scholarship at NPS

Dr. Scott Gartner, who has served as NPS Provost since March 2021, recently announced his intent to return to teaching as a professor in the Department of Defense Analysis.

Dr. Scott Gartner, who has served as NPS Provost since March 2021, recently announced his intent to return to teaching as a professor in the Department of Defense Analysis.

MONTEREY, Calif. — Dr. Scott Gartner, who has served as the 16th Provost of the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) since March 2021, recently announced that he will be returning to scholarship as a full professor in the NPS Department of Defense Analysis.

During his tenure as Provost, Gartner played a pivotal role in guiding NPS through a time of budget challenges and transformational change, coming aboard during the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic. He oversaw the restructuring of the NPS academic organization, resulting in a more interdisciplinary department-based approach in collaboration with a new team of vice provosts in academic affairs, research and innovation, leadership, and warfare studies.

Gartner also provided oversight for the establishment of the NPS Extended Campus, dedicated to the management of NPS Online, which has expanded distance learning access and opportunities for warfighters who are often challenged by tight career pipelines and operational commitments to gain advanced, relevant education. Stackable certificates organized by core program areas now enable degrees and continuous learning for naval officers, qualified servicemembers, and Department of Defense (DOD) civilians. 

Dr. James Newman, Chair of the Space Systems Academic Group (SSAG) and a former NASA astronaut, has agreed to serve as Acting Provost while the process begins in the official search for a permanent successor. 

Retired Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau, President of NPS, credited Gartner for playing a critical role in developing the vision and transformation outlined in the NPS Strategic Framework, a five-year plan intended to guide the institution through ongoing transformation and lay the foundation for future campus modernization efforts and the establishment of the Naval Innovation Center at NPS. 

"Under Dr. Gartner's leadership, NPS has re-established itself as the Department of the Navy's flagship technical graduate institution, viewed by many now as a distinct and valued capability in the defense of our nation," said Rondeau. "Leading change is hard, and Scott deserves great credit for spearheading our academic efforts to align and strengthen curricula and research for 21st century educational and innovation outcomes with increasing operational impact for the fleet and force. I am grateful for his leadership and partnership, and look forward to Scott’s contributions as he returns to the profession of defense-related scholarship, teaching and intellectual engagement that is his passion.”

Gartner came to NPS from Pennsylvania State University, where he was the Director of the School of International Affairs and held Affiliate Professorships in both the Department of Political Science and Penn State Law in University Park.

In reflecting on his time as NPS Provost, Gartner expressed his enthusiasm about being a scholar again at NPS. In fact, Gartner's first introduction to NPS was as a visiting professor in 2014 in the Defense Analysis department – an experience which had a profound impact, leading him to vow to return and work directly in support of national defense education. 

"I am profoundly grateful for my tenure as Provost of NPS, and I would like to thank President Rondeau, the faculty, staff, and students for allowing me to serve them," said Gartner. "I am confident that the future for NPS is solid and looks bright, and I am glad to be able to stay for the exciting times ahead to contribute again as a professor working with our exceptional warrior-scholar students – that's why we exist."

According to Gartner, his experiences as NPS Provost have informed his strategic thinking, especially as the position evolved to include new duties as Vice President and Chief Academic Officer. 

Gartner said he is eager about returning to academics, especially engaging with NPS students. "I anticipate delving into research topics that have been occupying my thoughts, but I also learn as much from our NPS students as any other colleague, and value their real-world operational experiences that helps to keep us all grounded and focused on enabling them as leaders," he said.

While there were a number of specific accomplishments Gartner takes pride in, he expressed his greatest pride in the collective impact the entire NPS leadership team has had in revitalizing and reenergizing the relevance and value of NPS to the Navy and Marine Corps. Moreover, Gartner was most encouraged by the willingness of faculty and staff to step up and lean in despite being already overburdened.

"Our faculty and staff have helped to make NPS work better together, lowering barriers to cooperation, and gaining advocacy from senior leaders in the Pentagon, not only for NPS' mission, but the recognition of the vital role advanced education plays in sharpening cognitive readiness for warfighting advantage," Gartner said.

"Scott has been and will continue to be a friend and valuable colleague for us all," said Rondeau. "His enthusiasm for teaching, research and writing is absolutely genuine and I am grateful that NPS will be his home-base as he continues and expands his intellectual exploration, analysis and decision-focused study and will have a continued voice in the life of this great institution.

“I am deeply humbled by, and grateful for, both Dr. Gartner and Dr. Newman and their willingness to serve."


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