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 'Tenacious Advocate for Quality' Named Interim Provost at SRU 



Dec. 20, 2002

CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine (724) 738-4854; e-mail:


            SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Dr. William F. Williams, chair of the English department and president of the faculty union at Slippery Rock University, has been named interim provost. He replaces Dr. Robert Smith, who became acting president of the Butler County university of 7,500 students last week.

            An expert in literary criticism, Williams has been an employee of the university since 1982, starting as an English instructor. He has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate English courses, penned numerous book reviews and organized several academic conferences.  As English department chair, Williams directed a staff of 30, oversaw curriculum and managed the department’s budget.

            Because of his academic excellence and administrative skills, Smith asked Williams to become interim provost. Provosts evaluate curriculum and recommend changes for improving academics.

           “Bill is a trusted adviser, a tenacious advocate for quality, and a forceful supporter for the interests of ourstudents,” Smith said. “He is a person of integrity, compassion and high values.”

           Williams, of Slippery Rock, says he aims to move the university forward and build on its reputation.  “I want to see us enhance the reputation of our academic programs,” Williams says. “They’re excellent programs. We do a great job, and I want to see them recognized.”

            As president of the 320-member unit of the faculty union, Williams presided over executive meetings, processes grievances and promotes “the highest type of professionalism” among faculty.

           Williams received his Ph.D. in English literature from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Youngstown State University.

           He has three grown children, two of whom graduated from Slippery Rock University.

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