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Dr. D Joanne Wilson appointed as new interim provost

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Dr. D. Joanne Wilson

Dr. D. Joanne Wilson

Dr. D. Joanne Wilson

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On Monday, April 17 a campus wide email was sent stating that Dr. D. Joanne Wilson will be the new University of Wisconsin-Platteville interim provost and vice chancellor of Academic Affairs. Wilson will replace Dr. Elizabeth Throop who has accepted a position at Frostburg State University as provost and vice president.

Even though Throop only served as the interim provost for a little over a year, she has many fond memories of her time in the position.

“I was able to be involved in university-wide discussions about really interesting things—like developing more high-impact practice experiences for students (internships, research opportunities, artistic expression, co-ops, service learning, ensembles, acting, and so forth), thinking through how to create an even more effective general education program, working through a high-stakes visit with our regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, and so many other things,” Throop said in an email interview.

Chancellor Shields went through the process of hiring a new provost last year when he hired Throop.

“We talked to 8 or 9 people, all were current faculty that had a leadership role,” Shields said.

This time around, Shields decided not to replicate the hiring process, instead he talked to three of those interviewed and chose Wilson. Shields explained that he decided to hire Wilson for a variety of reasons.

“Dr. Wilson has served a number of leadership roles,” Shields said. “She was the initial director of the first-year experience program as well as the assistant of academic affairs. She brings a wealth of experience.”

Wilson’s two-year term will become effective July 1. She also spoke about the process of acquiring the position.

“It was more of a process that started last spring, when Dr. Throop was chosen, there were a number of us that put our name in,” Wilson said. “Then when she announced that she was leaving, the Chancellor and I chatted with a number of us again. So he asked me if I would serve in the position. So that’s how I perceived it happened.”

Wilson didn’t necessarily see herself taking this position as a part of furthering her career, however, feels it’s a great way for her to impact the community in a positive way.

“ I came here 31 years ago and my intent was to be the best professor I could be. I taught in general engineering. I’m a tenured professor in the general engineering department here and I just did everything I could to make sure the students were successful and I loved teaching,” Wilson said. “In the early ‘90s, I had an opportunity to serve as interim dean and the provost at the time was a great mentor. It was a lot of responsibility; I was still really young and I wasn’t even tenured. I did the job for about five or six months. Every decision I had to make that was difficult, we walked through the process together. I can honestly say that in the end this isn’t something that I didn’t wake up in the morning and say ‘I want to be the provost.’ I feel like this is a really great way for me to give back to this community, because I’ve been incredibly successful but it’s because of the people around me and the relationships I’ve made over the years.”

Wilson wants to make the transition process into her new position as provost as easy as possible for everyone involved, which includes not making any drastic changes before she starts her term. She acknowledges that Elizabeth Throop is still the provost until July 1.

Wilson wants to make the transition process into her new position as provost as easy as possible for everyone involved, which includes not making any drastic changes before she starts her term. She acknowledges that Elizabeth Throop is still the provost until July 1.

“I started talking to her [Throop] so we can make sure we have a smooth transition and we’re meeting every couple weeks,” Wilson said. “To me, I don’t feel comfortable saying I’m going to make this change, but I want to talk to the people who are going to be on my team. I haven’t had that opportunity yet and then [I will] see what types of goals they have and then go from there to make sure we have a smooth transition and that we look at things and make some decisions on what we might want to do differently but I’m not ready to say that yet.”

When it comes to advice, Throop thinks that Wilson has all the experience needed to succeed in the new position as provost.

“Dr. Wilson is a veteran Pioneer and needs no advice from me!” Throop said in an email interview. “I am sure she’ll be a great interim provost. However, if pushed, I’d say: keep a sense of humor about yourself and become conveniently deaf at certain times.”

With this in mind, Wilson feels as though she is ready to start her new position and hopes that the UW-Platteville community will see her as an advocate for both faculty and student success.

“I think if you look at my record over the years here, my path and my journey, you will see that I am very much dedicated to student success,” Wilson said. “The provost has the responsibility of also making sure the faculty and staff are successful as well and so it will be a team effort but in the end, I hope I will be seen as an advocate for students as well as an advocate for faculty to make sure we move forward the way we should.”

 

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Dr. D Joanne Wilson appointed as new interim provost