As the first woman in Wittenberg’s history to hold a position of vice president or above, Greer presided over successful efforts to switch to a semester calendar, to offer students broader programs including biochemistry and molecular biology, and new bachelor of science degree programs.
The provost is the chief academic officer and second-ranking administrative officer at Wittenberg, who oversees all academic programs, faculty hiring and development, curriculum, the athletic program, the library and the computing center. During Greer’s tenure the entire university curriculum was revised. She is also responsible for bringing to Wittenberg more than one-half of the university’s current faculty and academic administrators.
Greer came to Wittenberg from Mercer University in Macon, Ga, where she was dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of English. She also served during her career as an administrator and faculty member at Converse College, Illinois Wesleyan University and Kentucky Southern College. Winner of the Teacher of the Year Award in 1979 at Illinois Wesleyan, Greer has continued to teach an upper level literature course on W.B. Yeats at Wittenberg.
“It has been a good time for me, and I feel a deep sense of accomplishment and professional fulfillment,” Greer said. “Nevertheless, I am enticed and exhilarated by the prospect of new directions for my life.”
Wittenberg President Baird Tipson congratulated Provost Greer on her many achievements leading the college’s academic program over the years. "Over the past ten years Provost Sammye Greer has led the Wittenberg faculty through major curricular changes despite a succession of tight budgets throughout the decade of the 1990s,” Tipson said. “She will leave Wittenberg's outstanding academic program even stronger than it was when she began. I wish her every future success in her retirement."
Tipson said that a national search for the next provost would begin in the fall of 2001. During that time he will enlist the participation of the faculty in a process to review future directions for Wittenberg’s excellent academic program, how governance of the university is structured, and the role the next provost will need to play in advancing Wittenberg’s programs further.
Serving as interim provost will be Kenneth W. Bladh, professor of geology, Tipson announced. Bladh also served as interim provost during Greer’s sabbatical leave in 1998.