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 SRU Apponts Dr. William Williams as Provost, VP Academic Affairs 



May 16, 2005

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine 724-738-4854;


           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University President Dr. Robert M. Smith has appointed Dr. William F. Williams as provost and vice president of academic affairs after a national search that brought six candidates to campus for extensive interviews.

           “The committee conducted an excellent search that gave the campus community an opportunity to evaluate six very strong candidates,” Smith said. “After rigorous interviews with committee members and many others on campus, Dr.Williams stood out as the person in the best position to lead us through the challenges we will face immediately as well as in the coming years to assure our continued growth in academic quality. He is highly committed to student-faculty scholarship and learning, and to public higher education.

        “Dr. Williams is a tenacious advocate for quality, and a forceful supporter for the interests of our students and our faculty,” Smith said.

        “I am excited and delighted to have the position,” Williams said. “I feel I can contribute to the on-going success of Slippery Rock University.”

        The provost serves as the university’s chief academic officer. The position is responsible for evaluating curriculum, chairing the university budget committee and making recommendations for staffing and academic programs.

           The search committee was chaired by SRU’s Dr. Bruce Russell, dean of the College of Business, Information and Social Science, and included three faculty members along with others from the university community.

           A specialist in literary criticism, Williams has been a faculty member of the university since 1982, starting as an English instructor and rising to the rank of full professor. He has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate English courses, penned numerous book reviews and organized several academic conferences.

Williams has been serving SRU as interim provost and vice president of academic affairs since December 2002.  He also served eight years as head of the SRU chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.

           Williams received undergraduate and master’s degrees in English from Youngstown State University and a doctorate in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He also took doctorate courses in English at Kent State University.

           Slippery Rock University, 50 miles north of Pittsburgh, offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees along with doctor of physical therapy degree. Its four colleges offer academic majors in business, information and social science; education; health, environment and science; and humanities, fine and performing arts. It is one of the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

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