University appoints new provost

Case Western Reserve University has named Ben Vinson III the new provost and executive vice president.

According to current provost W.A “Bud” Baeslack III, the responsibilities of the position include “that of chief academic officer, which, at [CWRU], includes oversight of academic and research programs and key offices such as Student Affairs, International Affairs and Information Technology.”

The latest administrative appointee comes from George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C., where he was the dean of the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences.

At GWU, Vinson played a critical role in establishing an interdisciplinary science and engineering building collaboration with the engineering dean. He also secured founding gifts for institutes on Hispanic leadership and religious freedom, as well as established a global bachelor’s degree program.

Before his tenure at GWU, Vinson was a professor of history and founding director of the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He also served on the faculties of Barnard College and Pennsylvania State University.

Beginning July 2, Vinson will fill the position which Baeslack is leaving behind after roughly a decade. Baeslack announced he would step down last August, but will continue his involvement with CWRU by returning to the engineering faculty where he worked prior to holding the position as provost.

Reflecting on his accomplishments during his time as provost, Baeslack said, “Several improvements that stand out include: a significant growth in the size, academic quality and diversity of our undergraduate student body; a major enhancement to our international programs, including substantial increases in the number of international students and those who study abroad; and in programs and facilities that advance the student learning experience, such as Sears think[box] and Research Showcase.”

Baeslack will return to his position as a full-time university faculty member, beginning with a sabbatical leave.

During his leave, Baeslack plans to “work on a book manuscript and other scholarly work, develop a new course and possibly course sequence, and also identify and participate in collaborative research opportunities.”

As for helping the new provost transition into the position, Baeslack will assist Vinson in gaining an understanding of the CWRU culture and environment to ensure an effective tenure.

He said, “Provost Vinson brings outstanding leadership and administrative experience to the position, and he will be supported here by a dedicated and experienced leadership team.”