UA introduces Dr. William M. (Mike) Sherman as provost


Dr. William M. (Mike) Sherman will be UA’s next senior vice president, provost and chief operating officer.

In this role, he will serve as UA’s top academic officer, with oversight of academic planning and budgeting, curriculum development, enrollment and retention initiatives, assessment, student affairs and information technology services.

Dr. William M. Sherman

Dr. William M. (Mike) Sherman

Pending the approval of the University’s Board of Trustees, Sherman will begin his duties on June 1. Sherman succeeds Dr. Elizabeth Stroble, who is now president of Webster University in suburban St. Louis.

“I am delighted that Dr. Sherman will be joining us,” said President Luis M. Proenza. “His style of leadership and his commitment to academic excellence will serve both students and faculty members well. Dr. Sherman brings stellar credentials to Akron, and he is well prepared to help us further strengthen our academic programs and implement our emerging strategic plan.”

Sherman said he is honored to receive the appointment.

“There is much I admire about what has been achieved at Akron over the last decade,” Sherman said. “It is clear that President Proenza and the Board of Trustees are actively and collaboratively providing an innovative, visionary agenda for the University.

“With their leadership, the campus has been transformed, and the relationship with the Akron community has been vastly enhanced. At the same time, more students are gaining access to the Akron Advantage. Faculty are exploring ways to deliver innovative curricula and generating knowledge that is connected to issues in today’s world. Staff members are providing that special touch to increase the value of everyone’s experience at The University of Akron.

“I am thrilled to be joining UA, and I am looking forward to working with everyone there to establish a new trajectory of excellence.”

To achieve that trajectory, some of Sherman’s initial priorities will be to:

  • interact with the Board of Trustees, the president, faculty and the campus community to refine and define a leadership agenda for the University;
  • interact with the University community to transform the current draft strategic plan into an Academic Roadmap;
  • refine the proposed centers of excellence and the University's contributions to the University System of Ohio goals and objectives; and
  • improve the efficiencies and effectiveness of the University by thoughtfully considering alternative organizations and structures within the University.

25 years’ service at OSU

Sherman will arrive at UA from The Ohio State University, where he is vice provost for academic planning and professor of sport and exercise science.

At Ohio State, Sherman has led strategic planning for OSU’s colleges, with a primary focus on academic facilities and resources. He helped launch OSU’s academic facilities planning initiative, and he helped set the stage for implementing the university’s global agenda. Sherman holds reporting responsibilities for four regional campuses, University Libraries, the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, and the P-12 Project, among others. He also has provided oversight for the Targeted Investment in Excellence Initiative and the Battelle Endowment for Technology and Human Affairs grant program.

Sherman has served as the Office of Academic Affairs’ liaison to:

  • University Development for capital priorities;
  • the University Senate’s Fiscal Committee, Council on the Physical Environment, Governmental Affairs Committee; and
  • the Council on University Outreach and Engagement, among other responsibilities.

He also chaired the Space and Facilities Committee that is now the Integrated Physical Planning Liaison Group.

Prior to coming to Office of Academic Affairs, Sherman was beginning his third four-year appointment as director of the School of Physical Activity and Educational Services. He joined OSU as an assistant professor in 1985, advanced to associate professor in 1989 and to professor in 1993. In addition to conducting research on carbohydrate metabolism and exercise and physical activity measurement, he was co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Sports Medicine from 1993 to 2007.
Sherman has earned three degrees:

  • a doctor of philosophy in physical and health education (kinesiology), University of Texas;
  • a master's of science in biology, Ball State University; and
  • a bachelor's degree in education (health education), Ohio University.

Responsibilities as provost

As the University's chief academic officer, the provost reports to the president and leads the campus-wide effort to improve the quality of academic life on campus. Reporting to the provost are the deans of UA's 14 schools and colleges. The provost and his or her team also coordinate academic offerings, accreditation reviews, faculty recruitment and retention, and student success initiatives, among other responsibilities.

In addition, the provost at UA carries the additional titles of senior vice president and chief operating officer, with responsibility for a number of functional areas, including Student Affairs and Information Technology Services.

Media contact: Laura M. Massie, 330-690-0044 or