"Michele Gillespie" Archive

Welcome to the Fall 2022 semester

A message to faculty and staff from Wake Forest University Provost Michele Gillespie.

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to the Fall 2022 semester! It is with great honor and deep humility that, as Wake Forest’s eighth provost, I welcome you to a new academic year. I look forward to serving this community in a new role, and I pledge to approach our work together with the same energy and enthusiasm that I had when I first arrived at Wake Forest more than two decades ago.

While much has changed in the past few years on our campus, there is one aspect that remains constant: We come together to provide the best education we possibly can for our students so they can lead lives of meaning and purpose in a dynamic and complex world.

Read more

Categories: Inside WFU

Search Committee formed to identify Dean of the College

A search committee has been formed to identify the next Dean of the College, succeeding Michele Gillespie, whose term as Provost begins on July 1, 2022. Tony Marsh, Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Health and Exercise Science, will serve as interim Dean of the College while the search is underway.

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.

Michele Gillespie to succeed Rogan Kersh as Provost

President Susan R. Wente has appointed Michele Gillespie, current Dean of Wake Forest’s College of Arts and Sciences, to succeed Rogan Kersh as University Provost, effective July 1, 2022. Senior Associate Dean Anthony Marsh will serve as Interim Dean of the College, effective July 1, while the University engages in a national search for a new Dean of the College.

Wake Forest hires SmithGroup for campus space utilization study

Wake Forest University has hired the SmithGroup to complete a campus space utilization study beginning in October and continuing through April 2022. The study will bring into focus the diverse and evolving space and facilities needs of the campus today and for the future. When completed, the study will take into account lessons learned during COVID-19, forecasted future trends for academic work and the administrative functions needed to support it. Wake Forest hopes to identify opportunities to leverage and optimize use of the University’s real estate portfolio in service to the University’s academic mission.

“Careful and thoughtful campus space planning work is critical to positioning Wake Forest for the future,” said President Susan R. Wente. “The SmithGroup is known for its in-depth approach to analyzing space utilization and truly understanding campus needs in order to identify planning priorities and projects with the greatest potential for impact. I am confident they will lead this important process effectively for us.”

Guided by a steering committee of campus academic and administrative leaders, the study will prioritize the infrastructure in which the academic and residential experience takes place. As a member of the steering committee, Dean Michele Gillespie will provide leadership and engagement with the SmithGroup to ensure faculty voices and departmental needs of the College are communicated during the process. The committee will work with the SmithGroup to identify current and future solutions for ensuring that Wake Forest is equipped to offer exceptional academic experiences across all areas of study.

The SmithGroup will deliver a detailed space utilization strategy to assist the University in responding to its unique capacity and utilization challenges and opportunities on the Reynolda campus as well as off-campus University properties. The utilization study will identify investment, innovation and opportunity areas to ensure support for the University’s educational mission and continued investment in excellent academic, residential, research and athletic facilities that support a vibrant collegiate experience. Additional goals for this project include:

  • Addressing the need for additional instructional space, academic offices and support service space on Reynolda campus;
  • developing strategies to expand existing dining venue seating and assessing the need for a new dining facility;
  • identifying potential academic and/or administrative uses for University-owned commercial properties;
  • assessing recently acquired real estate for its potential academic, administrative, student activities and recreational uses;
  • and assessing spaces currently under University lease for future use.

“The buildings and spaces where we teach, learn, work and live on this campus are a huge part of what makes Wake Forest so special,” Wente said. “We will continue to invest in all of our physical spaces – academic, residential, athletics and administrative – to ensure we are able to offer environments that inspire creativity, deep learning, thriving, success and community connection.”

More information and ongoing updates about the space utilization study will soon be available on the WFU facilities website.