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Wake Forest Provost announces plan to step down at end of academic year

October 5, 2006

Wake Forest University Provost William C. Gordon announced this week that he will step down as provost at the end of the 2006-2007 academic year.  His resignation as provost will be effective June 30, 2007.

Gordon joined Wake Forest as provost in 2002 after serving as president of the University of New Mexico.     

In a letter to faculty Oct. 5, Gordon wrote, “At present my plan following this year is to remain at Wake Forest as a member of the faculty after taking a leave of absence to prepare for that transition.”

In the letter, Gordon wrote, “I will always deeply appreciate the opportunity I have had to serve as Provost at Wake Forest—a university with exceptional strengths, and a university I am so proud to claim as my alma mater.”  Gordon earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in experimental psychology at Wake Forest, before receiving a doctorate in experimental psychology at Rutgers University.

Gordon stated that by the end of the current academic year, the university will have completed searches for deans of the School of Law and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, implemented the first phase of enhancements to the university’s international studies program, and met other administrative goals.

"Most importantly, the major steps in our strategic planning process will have been completed, and an experienced Planning Council will be preparing to assemble the final version of our University plan,” Gordon wrote.

Last spring, Wake Forest announced that it had begun an 18-month strategic planning process to identify key priorities for strengthening the university.  Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch appointed Gordon and Senior Vice President Nancy Suttenfield to co-chair the planning council responsible for steering the planning process.  The plan is to be completed in fall 2007.

"Bill’s leadership of our faculty has been extraordinary.  He is able to view important decisions from the perspective of a faculty member, and he also has a strong sense of the right thing to do at Wake Forest,” said Hatch.  “We will miss his counsel but wish him well in his next endeavors.”

Gordon served as acting president of Wake Forest from December 2003 to April 2004 while then-president Thomas K. Hearn Jr. was treated for cancer.  Hearn resumed his responsibilities as president in April 2004 and retired in 2005. 

As provost, Gordon has recruited deans for the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences and the Babcock Graduate School of Management.  He is also credited with developing a multi-year budget initiative aimed at renewing the university’s progress toward faculty salary goals.

Press Contacts:

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

Cheryl Walker
(336) 758-5237

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