Illinois Wesleyan University — Provost and Dean of Faculty

Illinois Wesleyan University (“IWU”) is a nationally ranked, private, residential, liberal arts institution known for its excellence in undergraduate education. The University enrolls approximately 1,770 students from 33 states and 22 countries and employs more than 170 full-time faculty members and 280 full-time staff members. This intellectually vibrant community is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment that prepares students for democratic citizenship and life in a global society.

IWU faculty are active scholars who are devoted to teaching undergraduates and to including them in their research. With average class sizes of 16 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10 to 1, students benefit from personal engagement with faculty and rich opportunities for experiential learning. They graduate with the skills and experiences that employers and graduate schools value, as evidenced by the fact that 96 percent are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduating.

IWU’s 82-acre tree-lined campus is a short walk from downtown Bloomington and borders its twin city, Normal. With a combined population of approximately 130,000, the twin cities, located two hours from Chicago and 2.5 hours from St. Louis, are served by Amtrak and the Central Illinois Regional Airport.

Founded in 1850, the historically Methodist institution is independent in governance. It is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. In October 2016, the University underwent a successful Standard Pathway comprehensive evaluation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Academic programs
Illinois Wesleyan offers diverse programming in the liberal arts as well as in the university’s four professional schools: the School of Nursing, the Ames School of Art, the School of Music, and the School of Theatre Arts. Students can choose from more than 100 majors, minors, and programs, all of which are broadened by a liberal arts foundation.

Illinois Wesleyan’s faculty members are distinguished not only by exemplary teaching and commitment to student engagement, but also by their outstanding scholarship and artistic endeavors. With generous donors supporting our commitment to attracting and retaining top faculty, the University has filled seven endowed professorships, in the last seven years which are among the 20 new professorships endowed during the capital campaign completed in 2014.

Illinois Wesleyan provides a wide variety of opportunities for students to immerse themselves in learning, including the following: May Term, a month-long experiential learning option focused on a single intensive course, travel, research, or creative endeavor; Gateway Colloquium, a first-year writing and discussion intensive course, in which faculty may opt to explore special topics outside their primary discipline; and the Action Research Center, which engages students in a variety of programs connecting their education with needs in the community.

Most IWU students already complete a capstone experience. To maintain its leadership in providing challenging, personalized experiences to students, the faculty and University leadership are working collaboratively to expand on the rich faculty-student interaction and experience-based learning opportunities that set the University apart. IWU’s goal is to allow each student to assume significant ownership of an independent academic undertaking that demonstrates the ability to integrate and apply their learning to complex problems. This work, supported by the intellectual scaffolding needed to lend both rigor and purpose to the final product and guided by faculty members in both structured and unstructured ways, will serve to emphasize the many advantages accruing from a liberal arts education.


Illinois Wesleyan attracts exceptionally talented students who thrive in our engaged learning environment, with a first-year retention rate of 92 percent and a four-year graduation rate of 78 percent.

Admission to the University is highly competitive, with more than 3,840 applying for approximately 500 places in the most recent first-year class. Approximately 29 percent of the student population, including international students, are students of color, and, reflecting a priority of the President, the class of 2020 is the most diverse ever. This class had an average ACT of 27, an average high school GPA of 3.75, and one-third were in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Approximately five percent of IWU graduates go on to complete PhDs, more than 95 percent of medical school applicants are admitted to medical school, and recent efforts using IRS data show graduates’ earnings in the top decile. Three of the nation’s most prestigious honor societies – Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Mortar Board – have chapters on campus.

Linking IWU’s strong academic programs to the larger community and the world, half of its students study abroad and nearly 500 students complete internships each year. More than 30 of these will be Freeman Foundation-funded summer internships in the Philippines, Japan and elsewhere in Asia. With 80 percent of its students volunteering in the community and across the U.S., Illinois Wesleyan has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for seven consecutive years.

Options for co-curricular involvement are robust. This year’s annual theme, “Women’s Power, Women’s Justice,” has sponsored over 50 co-curricular programs with over 50 classes participating in course clusters. In addition, 200 student organizations and 22 NCAA Division III varsity sports provide students with opportunities for leadership and achievement. A proven record of student-athlete success is demonstrated with 122 Academic All-America selections since the program’s inception (placing Illinois Wesleyan just below Michigan and just above Duke) and seven NCAA Division III National Championship teams. The University’s strong commitment to the goals of Title IX is reflected in the success of the women’s teams, in winning seven of the 11 conference championships contested on the women’s side last academic year; and of our individual female student-athletes, who have won seven of the last eight College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Women of the Year Awards.

Institutional growth and financial resources

Illinois Wesleyan’s beautiful campus features such exceptional facilities as the five-story Ames Library, the Center for Natural Science, the Shirk Center for Athletics and Recreation, and the LEED-certified Myers Welcome Center. The University’s new main classroom building, State Farm Hall, opened for classes in the fall of 2013; the $16 million technology-rich building was a key priority of the University’s $125 million “Transforming Lives” fundraising campaign, which ultimately raised $141 million. Also as part of the recent campaign, a $6 million addition to the Shirk Center was completed, including a state of the art fitness center, meeting and classroom space, and locker rooms. Recent improvements include a sweeping $1.6 million renovation for the School of Nursing in Stevenson Hall, including a new simulation center and nursing interventions laboratory; improvements to the renamed Jerome Mirza Theatre in McPherson Hall; and an expansion to the Ames School of Art.

The University’s endowment is valued at $209 million and its 2016-17 operating budget is $94 million.


Illinois Wesleyan has gained a national reputation for academic excellence, successful graduates and exceptional value. The University is consistently listed in the top tier among national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings. In the inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings, Illinois Wesleyan is the top liberal arts college in Illinois and ranked 34th among all colleges in the Midwest. The 2017 Kiplinger’s Guide to Personal Finance named Illinois Wesleyan as the nation’s 55th best value in private liberal arts education, marking the 10th consecutive year the University appeared in Kiplinger’s Best College Values list. Salaries for IWU’s recent graduates are first among four-year college graduates in Illinois and in the top 6% nationally, based on data in the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. The campus values and supports inclusion and diversity, evidenced by our recent NASPA award presented to a college demonstrating achievement in celebrating and creating a welcoming and inclusive campus environment and our place on the Campus Pride Index as one of the top 50 LGBT-friendly institutions in the country.


The adjoining cities of Bloomington and Normal are frequently noted among best places to live and work, with a highly educated workforce, energetic cultural and recreational options, and a diverse economy, hosting the headquarters of insurance giants State Farm and Country Financial. Normal is the home of Illinois State University, which adds substantially to the number of faculty and students living and working in town. The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) ranked Bloomington #3 among small metros in the U.S. that are most attractive to young college graduates. Drawing from the AIER list, Huffington Post included Bloomington as one of the “11 Amazing Cities You’ve Never Thought to Live In, But Should.”

The role 

The Provost and Dean of Faculty (“Provost”) reports to the President and is the chief academic officer of the University, overseeing all academic departments as well as The Ames Library, Athletics, and Information Technology Services. The Provost will provide intellectual vision and support for all academic units and play a central role in academic program planning, faculty recruitment, promotion, and professional development.

The Provost works closely with the President and the following fellow senior officers:

  • Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
  • Vice President for Business and Finance
  • Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing
  • Vice President for University Advancement

The following positions report to the Provost:

  • Associate Provost
  • Associate Dean of Curricular & Faculty Development
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Department Chairs and School Directors
  • Directors of Interdisciplinary Programs
  • Director of International Programs
  • Director of Academic Advising & Coordinator of Disability Services
  • Director of Athletics
  • University Librarian
  • University Registrar

The Provost serves as an ex-officio member on the Promotion and Tenure Committee and periodically meets with the Council on University Policies and Procedures. The Provost serves as the staff lead for the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.

The Provost will have an extraordinary opportunity to join a strong senior leadership team and lead the academic success of a University with a historic tradition of liberal arts excellence and pre-professional programs. The Provost will contribute to the next chapter of Illinois Wesleyan’s history by leading or working very closely with the President on the following important efforts:

Enhancing academic excellence

  • Defining a shared sense of mission, vision, and culture for the liberal arts at IWU among all University constituents, with particular emphasis on broad-based development of both the scaffolding and the culminating projects that define signature work;
  • Working with faculty along these and other lines to continue to review, enhance, build, and sustain excellent academic programs while evaluating underperforming programs;
  • Supporting faculty in their roles as scholars, and researchers, showing appreciation for the importance of both scholarship and teaching to the culture of the University; and
  • In the context of signature work and elsewhere, implementing and support faculty-driven initiatives.

Optimizing resource allocation

  • Serving as an internal and external advocate for the University’s academic mission, and allocating resulting resources toward shared goals, including support of faculty in their teaching, research and service; and students in pursuit of broad student learning goals;
  • Developing and managing resource allocation processes and budgets, including supervising the implementation of management and technology updates on campus; and
  • Leading organizational change and innovation to implement best practices in all academic administrative policies and procedures.
    Building community
  • Increasing racial and ethnic diversity within the faculty, staff, and in partnership with admissions, improving economic, ethnic, geographic and racial diversity of the student body;
  • Advancing collaboration across academic departments, student services, co-curricular activities and athletics to foster student success; and
  • Fostering, mentoring, and supporting faculty and staff, while creating a collaborative learning environment.

Key qualifications
Successful candidates for the role of Provost must possess stellar academic credentials, including a terminal degree and a strong record of distinguished scholarship and teaching within a selective institutional setting, appropriate for an appointment as a full professor at Illinois Wesleyan University. In addition, the successful candidate will have a track record of effective leadership, including a reputation for enhancing an institution’s academic quality, inclusive excellence, and support for faculty and staff, and administrative experience in a broad range of organizational areas. The ideal candidate will also demonstrate excellence in the following areas:

Forward-looking leadership

  • Ability to envision changes in the institution’s future that are both consistent with its past and contributory to its future;
  • Collaborative interpersonal style, with a track record of communicating with faculty, staff, and students in a manner that exemplifies high integrity, transparency, and accountability;
  • Respect for shared governance and a strong commitment to cultivating a broadly diverse and inclusive community; and
  • Confidence and courage to make difficult choices in an environment with multiple, competing demands.

Academic excellence

  • Demonstrated success in teaching, scholarship or artistic endeavors, and service;
  • Appreciation for the balance between the institution’s core mission of providing a quality liberal arts education and its commitment to pre-professional programs; and
  • Penchant for improving technology to better support teaching and learning.
    Inspirational communication
  • Visible and approachable leader who will inspire trust and cultivate a sense of community and shared goals;
  • Empathic listener who is at ease with all constituents; and
  • Transparent and courageous decision-maker who builds consensus, makes difficult choices when necessary, and communicates decisions with clarity and compassion.

Nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest should be forwarded in confidence to:

Illinois Wesleyan University is an equal opportunity employer committed to inclusive excellence.