Our New Provost

Later today, we will send out a news story announcing the identity of Western Michigan University's new provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Following a nationwide search, a round of campus interviews and presentations, and feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, Dr. Jennifer P. Bott of Ball State University emerged as the clear choice for our University. She was offered and has accepted the position. Her appointment is effective July 1.

Dr. Bott is currently The Bryan Dean of the Miller College of Business and professor of management at Ball State, a position she has held for three years. Prior to that, she spent five years as assistant and then associate provost for learning initiatives, responsible for student success efforts as well as administrative, student, faculty and research services for Ball State's online and blended education enterprise. She has been part of the BSU community since 2004, beginning her career there as assistant professor of management.

She was selected as an American Council on Education Fellow in 2013-14 and is a Certified University Planner, serving on Ball State's Strategic Planning Leadership Team. She also oversees BSU's Launch Indiana business and community development initiatives and is actively engaged in the community through service on corporate and nonprofit boards.

Dr. Bott earned a bachelor's degree from DePauw University and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Akron. She also has earned certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. Her research interests include methodology and statistics, the intersection of new media and human resources, and organizational and generational diversity.

We have, in short, identified a new provost with a strong background in teaching, research, community engagement and strategic planning. Dr. Bott also brings to her new role a background of success in fundraising, alumni engagement and building enrollment.

I want to take this opportunity to offer my gratitude to Dr. Susan Stapleton for a year of inspired service as interim provost. While serving in the interim role, she kept our academic enterprise moving forward and advancing, with a wealth of new ideas and initiatives that will leave their mark for years to come. Please add your thanks to her as well when you have the opportunity in the coming weeks.

Please also join me as well in thanking the 14-member Provost Search Advisory Committee led by veteran faculty member Dr. John Jellies, professor of biological sciences. Their service has been outstanding.

Thank you.

Ed Montgomery