Emily Barnes, MLS, EdD


Provost Emily Barnes, MLS, EdD, is the 11th president (interim) of Cleary University who assumed office on May 8, 2020. Barnes is the University’s first female provost and first female interim president.

In 2020, she acquired a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Maryville University. She completed graduate studies in academic librarianship and human-computer interaction at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing. She specializes in inclusive pedagogical methods, cognitive disruptive technologies, curriculum development, and concepts of adaptable leadership.

Emily earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities & Philosophy from Indiana University.

She was an academic entrepreneur for six years before joining Cleary’s leadership team, building learning management systems and custom, multi-format educational and training experiences for a variety of organizations.

Barnes is known as the academic thought leader behind The Cleary Mind Cleary’s new, unparalleled Business Arts educational approach.

Barnes is passionate about creating change in higher education and inspiring academic leaders to push the envelope, raise the bar, redefine the status quo, and to think differently. Her long-standing dream is to bring curiosity, agility, and a fresh look at education in efforts to renovate education and get it out of the box where it usually sits.

For more information, view the Office of the Provost