FAIRBORN — Dr. Susan Edwards, the second candidate for the position of the executive vice president for academic affairs at Wright State University, met with the college community April 23.
Edwards currently serves as the vice provost for faculty affairs and professor of biology at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She shared her vision, history and experiences with the campus during her visit.
“I want to make it so that you want to come to work everyday and our students want to come to class everyday and they want to actively engage in activities that help them succeed,” Edwards said as she addressed the campus community. “We can provide them with a transformational educational experience. That’s really why I’m here. I’m not here for me, this isn’t about me. It’s about all the students we impact and engage with and then their impact when they go out into the community.”
In her current role as Appalachian State, she is responsible for overseeing all areas of faculty evaluation and development and serves as the academic affairs liaison on all personnel matters. She has held the position since 2015, initially joining Appalachian State in 2007 and held positions of assistant and associate professor of biology, assistant chair of the department of biology, and chair of department of biology from 2012 to 2015.
She was previously associate professor and dean’s liaison (associate dean) in the department of physiology and pharmacology at the faculty (college) of medicine, health, and molecular sciences at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, and visiting assistant professor in department of biology at Georgia Southern University. Edwards additionally taught human physiology/pathophysiology at the Institute of Koori/Indigenous Education at Deakin University in Australia and served as a research assistant in the brain research unit and autonomic neuroscience group at The University of Melbourne.
Edwards received a Ph.D. in comparative physiology from Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, an M.S. in neuroscience from The University of Melbourne, and her B.S. in biology from Deakin. Her CV is available for viewing at wright.edu/provost-search/candidate-visits.
“At this transitional time you’re currently going through … how do we engage the entire campus? All the way from the students, their parents, all the way up to the board of trustees to get behind how we push this institution to success and where it really deserves to be,” Edwards said. “It’s getting everybody on board and that is an insurmountable task but it’s going to take everyone working together to facilitate that.”
“I think one of my strengths is in relationship building. I’m willing to take the time and to do the work to ensure that the success is seen,” she added. “The other thing that people would tell you [on the Appalachian State campus] is that ‘Sue doesn’t quit.’ I’m fairly tenacious when it comes to really driving things and I really believe in social justice and equity and ensuring that everyone on this campus has the same opportunities regardless of where they’re coming from.”
Jennifer Bott, The Bryan Dean of the miller college of business at Ball State University, was initially scheduled April 25 to visit the campus as a candidate but has withdrawn from consideration for the position. Wayne Vaught, dean of the College of arts and sciences at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, also withdrew from consideration for the position. His visit, slated for April 20, was subsequently canceled.
Wright State’s search continues with three remaining finalists: Edwards; Kenneth Petersen, dean of the college of business and economics at Boise State University; and Joshua Powers, associate vice president for academic affairs at Indiana State University, who visited the campus April 26.
Thomas Sudkamp, who has served as provost since 2015, will step down from his position June 30. The new provost will begin his or her service to Wright State July 1.
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.