President renews Michele Gillespie’s appointment as provost

Portrait of Michele Gillespie

Wake Forest President Susan R. Wente announced today she has renewed Michele Gillespie’s appointment as provost for an additional three years. Gillespie began serving as provost in 2022.

“Michele Gillespie combines the heart and commitment of a true teacher-scholar with a sophisticated understanding of what it takes to sustain and grow Wake Forest’s academic excellence across all schools and programs,” Wente said. “She has already advanced many initiatives and programs – including the University’s Strategic Framework – that will shape the University’s future in important and exciting ways, and I look forward to what is ahead.”

During her time as Provost, Gillespie has hired three new deans, reorganized the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, helped lead the University’s Strategic Framework process, and established the Provost Student Leadership Advisory Council.

Provost Gillespie, who embraces collaborative leadership, has also conducted a strategic review of Wake Forest’s undergraduate enrollment with Vice President for Enrollment Eric Maguire. She has worked with Executive Vice President and CFO Jackie Travisano to create

the “How Wake Works” series to bring faculty and staff together to learn more about new and ongoing programs and initiatives. Also working with Travisano, she co-led a project to renovate and refresh academic and classroom spaces and is co-leading near-term central space planning efforts. As co-sponsor, Gillespie has made important contributions to the implementation of Project WakeDay, the new student information system, and the establishment of the Office of Institutional Equity in coordination with many campus partners.

To better support Wake Forest’s education and research aims, Gillespie created three new positions in the Provost Office: associate provost for academic affairs to lead academic affairs support and academic program development, associate provost for faculty affairs to lead faculty development and support, and associate provost for strategic initiatives to focus on strategic planning and implementation. The new vice provost for research, scholarly inquiry and creative activity was announced June 3. She welcomed Corey D.B. Walker as dean of the School of Divinity, Andrew Klein as dean of the School of Law, and Jackie Krasas as dean of the College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

“Incredible teaching, scholarship and learning takes place at Wake Forest every day,” Gillespie said. “I am excited about the opportunity to continue working alongside our dedicated faculty, staff and students to nurture the intellectual life of the University. It is an honor to serve as provost.”

Before being named provost, Gillespie served as Dean of the College from 2015 to 2022 and also gained experience as an associate provost for academic initiatives from 2007 to 2010. Since 2013, she has been the Presidential Endowed Professor of Southern History. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University and a B.A. from Rice University, where she majored in history and English. The author of two prize-winning books, she has also written articles, book chapters, and 10 co-edited books, all focusing on race, gender, class and political economy in the history of the South.

Categories: Inside WFU