I had the privilege of sharing this message with our campus communities and many stakeholders on Oct. 24, 2018:
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. John Koker as the next Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Dr. Koker will assume this position immediately.
I am incredibly proud of the thorough, inclusive and engaging national search and screen process we undertook as a University community. I am also grateful for the time, insight and extensive consultations an array of leaders and stakeholders provided me leading up to this decision. Dr. Koker is the right leader to guide us through our current financial challenges related to enrollment. He will also help us collaboratively develop the next, distinctive strategic vision and mission to strengthen our university’s identity and trajectory into the future. He has demonstrated innovative leadership at the dean’s level marked by a high degree of inclusiveness, collegiality and decisiveness. He brings all these qualities to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs position as he assumes primary responsibilities for our academic mission at the institution.
I want to thank Dr. Kelli Saginak and all of the members of our multi-campus search and screen committee for their extraordinary work. They helped bring four, highly qualified and diverse candidates to campus. They spent countless hours, beginning last spring, advancing this process to its successful conclusion.
In making this decision, I consulted with leaders from all shared governance groups: Faculty Senate, Senate for Academic Staff, University Staff Senate, and the three student government associations (SGAs) including the UW-Fond du Lac SGA, the UW-Fox Valley SGA, and the Oshkosh Student Association. Additionally, I consulted with the regional leadership and Collegium chairs of the access campuses. Chair Saginak and the search and screen committee members also provided consultation. Finally, I consulted with the members of the Chancellor’s Cabinet.
Participants in the Provost candidates’ open forums shared some of the most insightful feedback. To all who could attend, listen, pose questions and share thoughts and guidance, thank you for investing yourselves in this crucial search process.
Moving forward, the position of Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs will include greater responsibilities and serve in new ways. We are now a multi-campus institution nestled in a larger, economically diverse region that is counting on us to be the university it needs and deserves. As Chancellor, I must spend more time cultivating the relationships and support necessary to continue to grow the excellence of this institution. The duties of Provost are internal facing and will be responsible for the operations of the university. The duties of Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs will demand oversight of the Division of Academic Affairs and implementation of the academic mission. I am confident Dr. Koker will excel at both and serve this institution admirably.
Please join me in congratulating and supporting Dr. Koker as he assumes this role at so critical a moment in our institution’s history.