Wittenberg Names New Provost

Wittenberg announced Michelle Mattson as its new Provost on Feb. 11. As Provost, Mattson will hold the office second to the university president and will work alongside the president and other senior staff officials to oversee academics.

The provost determines Wittenberg’s academic priorities, such as major, minor and program offerings. They ensures the quality of faculty members and reviews their potential for promotions and tenure. In addition, the provost manages faculty committees concerning academic policies and new faculty appointments.

The provost also certifies that the university maintains its overall accreditation in addition to its specific program accreditations. Furthermore, the provost oversees convocations, research and research ethics in addition to guiding the strategic planning of the university or its goals for the future.

Mattson will replace Interim Provost Mary Jo Zembar on or before July 1, according to a university press release. The announcement follows a period of searching since the beginning of the school year, led by a committee of 12 faculty and staff members.

In an e-mail to students, Wittenberg President Mike Frandsen praised the committee’s decision to invite Mattson to campus.

“Dr. Mattson brings an uncompromising passion for student learning, extensive experience in institutional effectiveness and assessment and a thorough understanding of the importance of developing students’ sense of purpose,” Frandsen said. “Feedback following her visit affirmed all these attributes and more, and I look forward to having her join the senior leadership team.”

Mattson holds experience as a professor of German, associate dean of academic affairs and chair of the modern languages department at Rhodes College. In her positions, Mattson helped increase the effectiveness of administrative functions, revised the general education curriculum and promptly addressed campus climate issues.

At Rhodes, Mattson also served on committees concerning faculty tenure and promotion and sexual misconduct and response, among others. She earned bachelor’s degrees in German and Latin from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in German studies and humanities from Stanford University.

Mattson told Wittenberg officials in the press release that she is excited to assume her new position here.

“The level of dedication to and enthusiasm for the University resonated clearly and deeply with me in every conversation I had with members of the Wittenberg family,” Mattson said. “I look forward to investing the same level of passion and commitment as I found in all of the students, staff and faculty whom I have met.”

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