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Wake Forest University appoints new provost


April 23, 2007

Wake Forest University has appointed Jill Tiefenthaler as the university’s new provost.  Tiefenthaler, professor of economics and consultant to the president at Colgate University, will be Wake Forest’s first female provost.

On Aug. 1, Tiefenthaler will begin serving as Wake Forest’s chief academic officer with responsibility for supervising and administering the academic programs and plans of the university’s Reynolda Campus.

Tiefenthaler will report directly to Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch.  She will supervise the deans of the undergraduate College, the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Babcock Graduate School of Management, the School of Law and the Divinity School.

"Wake Forest is a first-rate institution with a wealth of resources:   a rich tradition, a beautiful campus and warm community, quality students, and, of course, a dedicated faculty,” Tiefenthaler said.  “Under President Hatch’s visionary leadership, the university is on the move.  I am excited about being a part of that and helping a great university become even greater.”

Tiefenthaler understands well the opportunities and challenges presented at a liberal arts university.

"Liberal arts universities, like Colgate and Wake Forest, have a special character,” Tiefenthaler said.  “They provide students with the opportunities of a research university and the intimacy and community of a liberal arts college.  They ask faculty to be productive scholars and committed teachers.  But finding and maintaining the right balance requires the care and attention of the administration.”

A search committee chaired by Hatch and composed primarily of faculty from Wake Forest’s academic units recommended her appointment.  She will become the fourth provost in Wake Forest’s history.  She succeeds William C. Gordon, who has been provost since 2002.

"I could not be more pleased with Jill’s appointment and the opportunities for Wake Forest that it represents,” Hatch said.  “She is an exceptional leader who has excelled at every dimension of academic life that she has touched. Jill is a dynamic and innovative leader. She thinks strategically, knows how to bring people together, sees the big picture and understands the broader world of American higher education.”

Tiefenthaler earned master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from Duke University, in 1989 and 1991 respectively, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind., in 1987.

Since 1991, Tiefenthaler has taught economics at Colgate University, a nationally-recognized liberal arts university with 2,800 students in Hamilton, New York.   She joined Colgate as an assistant professor and advanced to professor.  She chaired the economics department from 2000 to 2003.  From 2003 to 2006, she served as associate dean of the faculty.  Currently, she serves as a consultant to the president.

At Colgate, she gained experience in strategic planning, faculty development, enrollment management, curriculum development, faculty scholarship and the establishment of new centers and institutes. 

With research interests focused on labor economics, economics of the family and development economics, she has published numerous articles in scholarly journals.  Several of those address topics related to the economics of domestic violence.  Some of her academic work has been cross-cultural and includes studies conducted in the Philippines and Brazil.  In 1991 and 1992, she was a consultant to the World Bank and worked on female labor force participation and earnings issues in Brazil.

Tiefenthaler has been a leader in various community groups in Hamilton.  As founding director of the Upstate Institute, designed to bring together the resources of Colgate with the needs of the region, she expanded the outreach of the university by working closely with community and business leaders.  She served on the Madison County Priorities Council, a community group that addressed social service concerns and planned ways to improve the health and welfare of county residents.  She was also on the board of the Partnership for Community Development, a joint venture between Colgate and the Hamilton community focused on sustainable economic development.  

Press Contacts:

Cheryl Walker
(336) 758-5237


Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237


Jill Tiefenthaler, a professor of economics at  Colgate University, has been named Wake Forest's new provost.
Jill Tiefenthaler, a professor of economics at Colgate University, has been named Wake Forest's new provost.
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