Walker exits as SSU provost


By Joseph Pratt

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Shawnee State University (SSU) Provost Alan Walker announced this week that he has accepted the position of president of Sierra Nevada College, a private four-year institution. Walker has served as interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Shawnee State since August 2014, but will be leaving SSU, mid-contract, to pursue this new position.

“Alan has contributed a great deal to Shawnee State University in a short time,” SSU President Rick Kurtz, said. “We appreciate the leadership he has provided in Academic Affairs over the past year as he, the deans, and the faculty have worked to establish policies and procedures for program review, strengthen relationships with K-12 school districts, enhance academic support for students, and continually improve the level of education provided to our students.”

Prior to joining Shawnee State University, Walker served as president of Upper Iowa University and was a consultant to institutions of higher education and other organizations in the areas of strategic planning, organizational and personnel development, adult education, distance learning, process and system analysis, and organizational performance assessment.

“Shawnee State University’s role and impact on providing opportunities and changing lives is so important, and I have enjoyed being a part of this institution — and this community,” Walker said. “In a very short period of time, my wife and I began to call southern Ohio home, and we plan to maintain ties to this region. I’m grateful for the opportunities and experiences I have had here and am proud of what the Academic Affairs team has accomplished in the past year.”

Walker stepped into office as interim provost in 2014, as Provost David Todt stepped out. Todt left office as part of a planned succession at SSU, with a new leadership team being built to follow the exit of President Rita Morris.

Todt had become the interim provost in 2008 and was supposed to hold the office while the campus pursued a national search for a new provost, but when the search failed, the position fell onto him, leaving him second in command until Walker was hired under a two-year contract.

President Kurtz is currently looking at SSU staff for a possible interim provost, since Walker will be leaving prior to his September 21 start at his new job. The university will then search for a permanent placement for the position.

Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.

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