pleased to announce the appointment of Deneese Jones to the position of
provost, effective June 1, 2012. Jones was recommended to the president
by a search committee of faculty, staff and students who reviewed nearly
70 candidates in the course of a nearly 6-month search process.
Reporting to the president, Jones will oversee the Des Moines, Iowa
university's academic division, which includes more than 70 programs of
study and approximately 270 full-time faculty, as well as Cowles Library,
the Office of Student Life, the Office of Information Technology and
other related University operations.
As provost, she will be responsible for ensuring and enhancing the
quality of undergraduate, graduate and professional education at Drake
through the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, in
scholarship, and service to the community.
Additionally, Dr. Jones will take a leadership role in many University
initiatives and play a critical role in strategic planning.
"Dr. Dee brings a depth and breadth of higher education experience that
will serve the University well," says President Maxwell. "Our search
committee committed itself to finding a candidate who could not only lead
effectively and collaboratively but would play a significant role in
positioning Drake to manage the many challenges facing higher education.
We welcome her and her vision and passion for the quality of the student
experience and for the integrity of the University's academic core."
Jones brings to Drake extensive experience as an academic, a leader and a
community builder within higher education. Her passion for strengthening
academic programs while promoting intellectual vitality will be important
in supporting the campus community's efforts to achieve the University's
aspirations and to ensure that Drake continues to keep the promise in its
mission statement of "an exceptional learning environment."
"Dr. Jones's intellectual curiosity, leadership experience and past
achievements made her the right candidate for Drake," says Mark Vitha,
search committee chair and associate professor of chemistry. "I am
confident she will lead the University's academic, cocurricular, and
associated programs astutely and with vigor."
Jones joins Drake from Longwood University in Farmville, Va., where she
has served as dean of the College of Education and Human Services since
2005. Prior to Longwood, Jones spent 15 years at the University of
Kentucky where she led and taught in a variety of capacities: chair of
the President's Commission on Diversity, associate dean of the Graduate
School-Recruitment and Diversity, director and co-founder of the Center
for the Study of Academic Achievement in Learning Environments, and
associate professor in the College of Education's Curriculum and
Instruction department. She was an American Council on Education Fellow -
a highly selective and prestigious program for future higher education
leaders - spending her fellowship at the University of Kansas.
In addition, she is an alumna of the Senior Leadership Seminar of the
Virginia Women Administrators in Higher Education and the Institute for
Educational Management at the Harvard University Graduate School of
Education. She is involved in numerous professional organizations at the
regional and national levels and serves as a leader in many community
"It is an honor to be chosen to serve Drake University in this capacity,"
says Jones. "And I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and
students to learn about Drake's distinctly academic and student-centered
Jones will succeed Dr. Susan Wright, who has served in an interim
capacity since June of 2011. Wright has been at Drake since 1975, and
served as deputy provost for 2 years prior to stepping in as interim
provost for the 2011-2012 academic year. She will return to her position
as deputy provost on June 1, 2012.
Drake's mission is to provide an exceptional learning environment that
prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship. The Drake experience
is distinguished by collaborative learning among students, faculty, and
staff and by the integration of the liberal arts and sciences with