The big news on campus yesterday was that our provost, Jill Tiefenthaler, will leave Wake Forest at the end of June to become president of Colorado College. In a university structure, the provost is the chief academic officer. Deans of individual schools of the university report to the provost, and the provost is broadly responsible for academic matters on campus.
In her four years on campus, Provost Tiefenthaler has accomplished a great deal. She has been a true champion of academic excellence and an ardent supporter of the faculty. She greatly values the “teacher-scholar ideal” – which roughly means that we need our faculty to be outstanding classroom teachers who also are passionate about teaching undergraduates (and not just Master’s or PhD students) and who will also excel at their individual research.
Her support of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library has been constant and true. I heard her once say that we want the library to be the intellectual hub of campus – and with the great leadership of library dean Lynn Sutton and her talented library team, Wake Forest won the ACRL award this year – a huge win for campus.
The provost has also been committed to a vibrant campus life – both intellectual and social – and has worked with the campus community to enhance student life and to create new campus spaces like Starbucks in the library to bring students and faculty together for camaraderie. One of the most public achievements Provost Tiefenthaler had was the decision to stop requiring standardized test scores in undergraduate admissions. Wake Forest became a national thought leader on this issue.
For those of you reading who had the good fortune to hear the provost speak at a campus event or if you interacted with her one-on-one, you probably noticed she is an exceptionally talented person. She has been the kind of administrator who makes those around her even better. Colorado College is fortunate to have her.