Springfield, Ohio - After a careful and extensive search, Kenneth Bladh has been named the next provost of Wittenberg University, President Baird Tipson announced yesterday.
As provost, Bladh will be the chief academic officer of the university and the second ranking administrator, reporting to the president. He will also serve as the leader in the planning, organization, administration and evaluation of the total educational program.
As a member of the president's cabinet, Bladh will serve as the chief advocate for faculty and as such will determine faculty and staff salaries, and recommend appointments, promotions and tenure of instructional personnel. In addition, he will be responsible for budget recommendations supporting academic programs.
Bladh has been serving as interim provost since the retirement of Sammye C. Greer in June 2001. The formal transition will occur with the completion of a mail ballot distributed to the Wittenberg Board of Directors in early April.
In making the announcement to the university community, Tipson noted, "The search committee presented me with several strong candidates . After observing Ken's exemplary work during the period he served as interim provost, I feel he will enable us to move forward immediately on some important academic initiatives."
"I embrace the opportunity to help Wittenberg maintain a relevant curriculum with balance between preparation for a successful career and for a life of responsible participation and service, as citizens of a multi-cultural global community," Bladh said. "A Wittenberg education must continue to provide substantial content, rigorous methodology and require regular engagement with the personal, societal and ethical implications of our knowledge."
"I have every confidence that Ken will be even more effective now that the 'interim' has been removed from his title," Tipson added.
Bladh joined the Wittenberg faculty in 1978 as assistant professor of geology, serving in that capacity until he was promoted to associate professor in 1985 and professor in 1997. He served as chair of the department from 1990-2001.
His publications, papers and invited lectures have focused on mineralogy, crystal growth and teaching. His multi-volume "Handbook of Mineralogy" is becoming an international standard reference in descriptive mineralogy.
He is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research, the National Association of Geology Teachers, the Geological and Mineralogical Societies of America, the Mineralogy Association of Canada and Sigma Xi, the scientific research society. He has served on and chaired a variety of committees while at Wittenberg including the faculty executive board, the Kuss Science Center renovation committee and the environmental studies program planning committee. A member of the campus master plan task force, Bladh has also served on the board of directors' committees on honors, finance and academic affairs.
As for the search committee, President Tipson said, "I could not have asked for a wiser, more professional group of people, and the entire Wittenberg community is in its debt."
Born in Chicago, Bladh first arrived on Wittenberg's campus as a student where he majored in geology and graduated in 1969. Bladh went on to earn a master's degree and doctorate, also in geology, from the University of Arizona in 1973 and 1978, respectively.
Bladh and his wife, Katherine, an associate professor of geology at Wittenberg, reside in Springfield.
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