Wanous named new Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at NSU

ABERDEEN, S.D. (Press Release) – Northern State University has named Dr. Michael Wanous its new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Wanous, who earned his Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Missouri in Columbia, is currently the vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Indiana’s Huntington University. Prior to that, he was a professor at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, where his positions also included associate academic dean, natural science division chair and biology department chair.

Wanous said he was attracted to Northern because it’s clear that faculty and staff go above and beyond to help students succeed.

“Northern has a welcoming sense of community, where all members of the university contribute to a culture focused on student success,” he said. “It is also exciting to think about returning to South Dakota, where my wife and I raised our two children (who are now grown). Being closer to our family will be a big plus for us.”

Wanous said he and his wife, Martha, also look forward to enjoying the many excellent NSU Fine Arts performances, as well as the athletic events with record-setting community support. But, he said, the first thing he looks forward to is getting to know faculty and staff and learning more about Northern’s culture and unique strengths.

“There are so many great things happening and I look forward to getting a better sense of the big picture,” he said.

Wanous said Northern has a wonderful mix of liberal arts, profession-oriented and graduate programs. As provost, he looks forward to working with faculty to strengthen those programs – as well as explore new strategic directions to develop learning and career opportunities for students in the region.

“I would like for us to think about how we can more fully utilize ‘high impact’ educational practices such as undergraduate research and service learning to improve student engagement, persistence and success,” he said. “And I am passionate about investing in Northern’s faculty and staff to help them be the best that they can be.”

Wanous will start at Northern July 1. NSU President Dr. Tim Downs said he’s excited for Wanous to begin as provost, particularly given his experiences with academic program development.

“Dr. Wanous will be a fantastic asset for Northern,” Downs said. “We look forward to robust program development under his leadership, as well as an expansion of relationships with area employers.”