BUENA VISTA, Va. — Madison U. Sowell, former director of the BYU Honors Program, has been appointed acting provost at Southern Virginia University. He takes over at the independent LDS liberal arts college for Paul S. Edwards, who is joining the Deseret News as editorial page editor.

Sowell, a trustee at SVU, was on the BYU faculty for 30 years and was chairman of the French and Italian department for almost a decade. He retired in 2009 as associate dean of undergraduate education and is a professor emeritus of Italian and comparative literature.

SVU is seeing a record number of applications this year: more than 2,500, which is a 65 percent increase over last year.

— Paul Koepp