April 19, 2023
On Campus

President Names New Provost

Professor of Education Brian Yontz selected to serve as chief academic officer at Wittenberg

Wittenberg University President Michael L. Frandsen announced today that Brian Yontz, interim provost and professor of education, will no longer have interim in his title as he has accepted the provost position following a national search. Yontz, who has been serving in an interim capacity following the departure of Michelle Mattson last summer, will begin his new role officially on July 1, pending formal approval by the Board of Directors in May.

“I am delighted that Brian has agreed to serve as our next provost following an extensive national search,” said Wittenberg President Michael L. Frandsen. “As interim provost, Brian set a standard of excellence in his work and furthered our forward momentum in a way that will position the University’s academic program for continued success. I look forward to having Brian’s perspective, collaborative spirit, and innovative eye on the senior team, and I am confident that he will partner with faculty colleagues in advancing our academic program to meet the needs of current and future students.”

Earning the top faculty prize, the Alumni Association’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2020, Yontz is a native of Springfield and a long-serving faculty member in the education department, having joined Wittenberg in 2006. He is also the 2019 recipient of Wittenberg’s Excellence in Community Service Award and the Edith B. and Frank C. Matthies Award in 2018.

“For 15 years, I thought I knew the potential of the academic program at Wittenberg, but it wasn’t until this past year as interim provost that I saw firsthand the talented and dedicated teacher scholars in every corner of our campus,” Yontz said. “I’ve spent my entire professional career thinking about teaching and learning, and it’s clear that students and their families want a transformative college experience though exceptional teaching in classrooms, studios, and laboratories. This is exactly what Wittenberg does well, and it’s why I’m very excited to be the next provost at Wittenberg University.”

A graduate of the Springfield City Schools in Wittenberg’s hometown, Yontz serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (OACTE). In 2015, he won the National Scholar Award from the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education for research focused on alternative pathways of teacher credentialing. He also served as interim director of the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement in the summer of 2021, while the University conducted a search for the Center’s next leader.

As Wittenberg’s interim provost, Yontz said he is most proud of the following accomplishments in the academic affairs division:  

  • Moving the academic offerings forward by adding programs in neuroscience, public health, and international business;
  • Increasing support for Wittenberg faculty’s professional work both in salary compensation and in nearly doubling the financial support faculty members have access to through the professional enrichment grant program;
  • Adding a Mock Trial Program;
  • Launching the Margaret Ermarth Institute for the Public Humanities;
  • Supporting faculty innovation focused on work that recruits and retains students;  
  • Supporting four major grant submissions by teams of faculty members to advance the academic program;
  • Hiring seven new faculty members who will begin at Wittenberg in the fall of 2023, and
  • Increasing in size and scope of Wittenberg’s new FIRE Week in terms of offerings and participation.

“We certainly have a lot of work to do in the academic affairs division, but Wittenberg’s bedrock is congruent with what today’s learner desires and needs as a member of an educated citizenry,” Yontz said. “I thank President Frandsen and the members of the provost search committee for this opportunity to lead at an institution that is very special to me and my family.”

The author of multiple peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, Yontz has presented at numerous state, national, and international conferences. He earned his B.A. from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, his M.S. from Wright State University, and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.

Office of the Provost
The Office of the Provost at Wittenberg University provides academic leadership and fosters collaboration across the university in areas that affect the academic life of the institution.
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Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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