Wittenberg University President Michael L. Frandsen recently announced that Brian Yontz, chair and professor of education, has agreed to serve as interim provost following current Provost Michelle Mattson’s move to Carleton College, July 15. Yontz began his new responsibilities on July 1 to allow for a seamless transition and continued forward momentum.
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.
A graduate of the Springfield City Schools, 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.
“I want to thank President Frandsen for the opportunity to serve in the position of interim provost during this important time of transition on our campus,” Yontz said. “Wittenberg’s academic program is the heartbeat of this place, and my goal during this interim time is to support the talented teacher scholars on the faculty to do what they do best—the development and implementation of the curriculum. I think we have some real momentum within the division of academic affairs, and I look forward to helping remove any barriers that prevent the faculty from impacting student learning and development.”
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. While serving as the interim provost, Sally Brannan, associate professor of education and this year’s recipient of the Alumni Association’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, will take on the role of chair of the education department in Yontz’s place.
As interim provost, Yontz will also be part of the 2022 Curriculum-to-Career Innovations Institute through the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) as Wittenberg was recently named one of 54 institutions to be selected. This virtual institute will focus on supporting campus efforts to strengthen connections between college learning and workforce preparation, develop productive campus-industry partnerships and kick off on August 11 and run through December 16. Read more on Wittenberg's team here.
“One of the numerous things I’m looking forward to this year is leading our team through this institute,” Yontz said. “Between our Connections Curriculum and our revitalized work in career engagement and professional development, Wittenberg is uniquely positioned to be pushed to develop curriculum-based projects that promote equity and student success through meaningful career preparation with the AAC&U.”
More information on the search for Wittenberg’s next provost will be forthcoming.