January 22, 2024

Dear faculty colleagues,

Welcome back. I bet I know what you’re thinking: it’s a new semester, you have great students, great colleagues, and great projects, and you already feel behind.

Unfortunately, the Provost’s Office has not yet mastered the invention of time, but we do help faculty prioritize their work and get the support they need to innovate, explore, and pursue their highest aspirations. An incredible faculty administrative team, each of whom is dedicated to your professional success and happiness, makes this support happen. This team is about to change in important ways, and this month’s letter explains how and why.

On July 1, 2024, after six amazing years, Keith Bonin, Professor of Physics, and Christina Soriano, Professor of Theatre and Dance, will be stepping away from their vice provost roles to take a well-deserved year-long research leave before returning to the faculty. We are launching a search for a Vice Provost for Research, Scholarly Inquiry, and Creative Activity with the help of the consulting firm WittKieffer this month, and will invite your input soon. Meanwhile, the Provost’s Office will be welcoming Stacie Petter, Professor of Business, to the inaugural Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs role this summer.

Professor Petter is currently the Area Chair for Analytics, Information Systems, Marketing, and Operations Management, the Citibank/Calloway Fellow, and Professor of Management Information Systems in the School of Business. Her impressive record in teaching, research, and administrative leadership, as well as her experience in implementing mentoring programs, diversity initiatives, and faculty development resources, makes her an exceptional addition to our team.

As delighted as I am that Stacie will be joining the Provost’s Office, it is bittersweet to see Keith and Christina preparing to embark on their much-merited research leaves.  Both vice provosts are trailblazing, legacy-making institutional leaders who have contributed to significant growth in their respective fields during their tenure in the Provost’s Office. Their leadership in research and the arts has set a high standard of excellence, and if I tried to celebrate all of their many achievements in this one letter, I fear many of you would take one look at the length and delete it before you even started reading!  

So I urge you to please read more about their accomplishments and the lasting impact their work has had, and will continue to have, on the entire Wake Forest community. You will also learn more about the incredible work of Stacie Petter and will, no doubt, understand why we are excited to welcome her to our team.

Please join me in thanking Vice Provosts Christina Soriano and Keith Bonin for their wonderful contributions to Wake Forest. As consummate teacher-scholar-leaders, their hard work, imagination, generosity, and evergreen commitment to faculty, students and staff have helped this institution reach new levels of excellence and innovation. Please also join me in welcoming Stacie into her new role where she will do the same. All faculty know that it takes moxie and a certain measure of selflessness to do administrative work that truly makes a difference. Whether you are serving on a committee, chairing a search, leading a department, serving on the senate, leading a professional organization, or serving in an academic administrative office, I hope these colleagues’ stories inspire you, as they do me, to bring your fullest self to the Wake Forest table to make our community stronger and better – even when it feels like we can never find quite enough time to do so.

Best Regards,