Oliver H. Evans, who has more than 30 years of administrative experience in higher education, has agreed to serve as interim provost of Wright State University, effective February 22.
Dr. Evans was attracted to Wright State's interim provost position because he sees the potential for our university to emerge from our current situation as a stronger, healthier institution. He has many years of experience leading institutions through challenging circumstances, including major organizational changes, faculty and staff reductions, academic reorganizations, and the revision and development of programs that successfully addressed enrollment issues.
Dr. Evans will work closely with President Edwards and other university leaders as they implement our academic retrenchment plan, launch the health college, and move forward on a number of other institutional initiatives. Dr. Evans is guided by principles of communicating effectively and regularly, supporting proactively the work of our college deans, seeking opportunities to develop realistic programmatic and other initiatives that support the university's mission, and establishing a foundation upon which our permanent provost can build.
Since he retired from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University in 2012, Dr. Evans has served in interim leadership positions at several universities, including as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana Institute of Technology; interim provost of Mary Baldwin University; interim president of Kendall College of Art and Design; and interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Upper Iowa University.
Dr. Evans spent 18 years of his career at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as president and vice chancellor, vice president for academic affairs/dean, and professor of humanities. He also served as president of the college's Kendall Foundation.
Prior to joining Kendall College of Art and Design, he served as executive director of the Community Dispute Resolution Center of Kalamazoo County in Michigan. During his tenure at Nazareth College, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, he served as president, vice president for academic affairs, director of advising and graduate studies, and professor of English. His other faculty experience includes appointments in the Department of Business Information Systems at Western Michigan University and in the Departments of English at Creighton University, South Dakota State University, and Dakota State College.
Dr. Evans received his Ph.D. and master's degree, both in English, from Purdue University and his bachelor's degree in English from Albion College.
The university plans to begin a formal search for a permanent provost in the fall of 2021.