"Presidential News" Archive

A message from President Wente

President Susan R. Wente shared a message about Atrium Health’s announcement of an exciting plan to join together with Advocate Aurora Health, a leading healthcare organization based in Chicago and Milwaukee. Read her full message here »

University launches Undergraduate Enrollment Strategy project

In preparation for the 2022-23 academic strategic planning process, President Susan R. Wente has launched a strategic review of the University’s undergraduate enrollment position, partnering with the higher education research firm, Art & Science Group.

“Next year, we will begin to craft a vision for Wake Forest’s future,” Wente said. “To be effective in that work, we need to understand how the landscape for undergraduate enrollment has changed during the pandemic and where Wake Forest’s exceptional undergraduate education is situated within that landscape.”

Wente noted that the enrollment project’s work will unfold purposefully alongside the strategic planning process: “Art & Science will gather the data we need to understand what drives undergraduates’ enrollment decisions in regard to Wake Forest. This in turn will help us better understand how we are perceived, our distinctiveness and areas of opportunity.” Read more

Co-chairs named for Dean of the College search

In a message to the campus community this week, President Susan R. Wente announced a national search for Wake Forest’s next Dean of the College. The search begins as current Dean Michele Gillespie transitions to the role of Provost on July 1. Gillespie and Professor Dean Franco will co-chair the search.

“I have great confidence Dr. Gillespie and Dr. Franco will lead an effective and inclusive search process for the next Dean of the College,” Wente said. “The role of Dean is absolutely critical to our academic leadership team and our co-chairs recognize that.”

“The College is a vibrant, outstanding, diverse community of teacher-scholars that I am proud to be part of. I am committed to ensuring we find the right leader to steward the College into the future,” said Gillespie, who in addition to her leadership of the College, has been a faculty scholar at Wake Forest for more than 20 years — experiences that will serve the campus well as she co-leads the search process.

Franco, the Winifred W. Palmer Professor of English, joined the College faculty in the English department in 2001 and leads the University’s Humanities Institute. He also co-chairs the Slavery, Race and Memory Project at Wake Forest.

“Dean is an exceptional teacher-scholar, and his institutional leadership has well-acquainted him with faculty and departments across the College,” Gillespie said. “He understands both our strengths and our challenges and will be an insightful partner in the work of this search.”

The full composition of the search committee will be announced during the week of April 11.

Pilot process underway to rename Wingate Road

Wake Forest has begun a pilot process to rename two sections of a Reynolda campus road named for Washington Manly Wingate, led by an ad hoc Administrative Committee on Honorifics (ACH) convened by President Susan R. Wente. Wingate (1828-79) was the fourth president of Wake Forest College in two terms bisected by the Civil War. He also participated – both personally and on behalf of the College – in the ownership and sale of enslaved African Americans. 

In summer 2020, the Advisory Committee on Naming was charged with expanding on the University’s acknowledgment of its ties to the institution of slavery, as well as seeking input from the community to help shape a more representative and complete history of Wake Forest. In August 2021, President Susan R. Wente announced that the University would “determine an appropriate process to rename sections of the campus road that bear the Wingate name,” as a continuation of efforts begun by the Advisory Committee on Naming and the actions of the Board of Trustees in April 2021. 

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Invitation for Feedback: Space Utilization Study Survey

As part of President Wente’s feedback process this semester, she is asking the campus community to participate in the Space Utilization Study Survey. Participants will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a month of exclusive reserved parking on campus or $25 in free dining at any food venue on campus. Learn more here.