Interim be gone: Dr. Bryan Smith named VP of Academic Affairs, Provost

There's no more “interim” for Dr. Bryan Smith. On Tuesday, President Rob Huntington announced that Bryan, who is also a professor of chemistry, has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost.

The position is not new to Bryan; he has been the interim VP and provost for the past 14 months.

“Bryan has done an excellent job leading Academic Affairs through the COVID-19 pandemic since stepping in at the end of the 2019-20 academic year,” the president said, adding that he also established a new Academic Collaborative Leadership Team that has expanded and strengthened the engagement of more faculty and staff across Heidelberg.

Additionally, in partnership with faculty leadership, Bryan has continued to lead the work on implementing the Academic Strategic Program Prioritization Plan and has played an integral role in supporting the development of the new Integrated Studies General Education Program, passed by the General Faculty on Tuesday.

“I am confident that Bryan will do an outstanding job serving as Heidelberg’s Chief Academic Officer on the Senior Leadership Team,” Rob said. 

Bryan, a nearly lifelong Tiffin resident who enrolled at Heidelberg as a first-generation college student, graduating with his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology in 1991. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wyoming in 1997. After teaching at Terra State Community College, he returned to his alma mater in 2006, joining the chemistry faculty. Currently, he holds the Susan Wolf Endowed Chair for the Dean of Natural Sciences and continues to teach chemistry.

In addition to teaching, advising and research, Bryan has served on numerous Heidelberg committees, including his selection by his colleagues to be one of the first Faculty Representatives to the Board of Trustees. He was among the early developers of the HYPE Career Ready® and Placement Program and partnered with professor Jerry McDonald (now retired) to develop Heidelberg’s Exercise Science major.

In his new permanent role, he now looks forward to continuing the progress and momentum created over the past year and a half.“I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the VPAA and Provost,” Bryan said. “I am cognizant of the challenges facing higher education and Heidelberg University, and I am eager to continue collaborating with the incredibly talented and committed faculty, staff and administration to find suitable solutions to continue serving our students well into the future.”

Bryan added that he is inspired and re-energized by the level of support and dedication he has felt and observed from the Heidelberg community, and as a result, he feels “a profound sense of optimism for our collective future.”

“Working closely with President Rob Huntington, the Board of Trustees, the Senior Leadership Team and the Academic Collaboration Leadership Team over the past 14 months has rejuvenated my passion and love for HU and its mission,” he added. “I look forward to continuing the challenging yet rewarding work of Academic Strategic Program Prioritization and the Strategic Growth Action Plan to better serve our current and future Student Princes!”

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