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Academic leadership

Dr. John Wiencek

Executive Vice President and Provost

John WiencekJohn Wiencek, Ph.D., an accomplished chemical and biochemical engineer, experienced academic administrator, and Northeast Ohio native, is UA's new executive vice president and provost.

As provost, Wiencek (pronounced WIN-sek) will redefine and implement the priorities for the Office of Academic Affairs and bolster UA’s research prominence and productivity. He is responsible for:

  • sharpening the University’s enrollment strategy and practices, including exploring new markets and expanding delivery models;
  • assessing and optimizing the academic affairs structure and processes;
  • recruiting and developing an exceptional academic leadership team; and
  • contributing to UA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

As executive vice president, he is the most senior administrator reporting to the president.

Wiencek grew up near the Portage Lakes and graduated from Walsh Jesuit High School. He spent summers employed at the famed Waterloo Restaurant “flipping eggs and burgers.”

“The University of Akron is a strong public urban research university that has a deep history and an extremely bright future,” said Wiencek. “I grew up in Akron and have an affinity for the community and a profound respect for the students and employees who have chosen it as their home.”

An experienced academic leader, Wiencek most recently served as provost and executive vice president at the University of Idaho. There, he developed and implemented a strategic plan and executed new improvements in communication to build trust between the faculty and administration for a stronger campus community.

He previously served as interim provost and vice president of academic affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. There he was the driving force behind many significant accomplishments, including resolving initiatives such as enrollment planning and fundraising; completing several searches for key roles; and establishing a Strategic Enrollment Council.

Prior to that, Wiencek served as dean of the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida. He also served in a variety of positions at The University of Iowa including department chair, graduate director, graduate admissions chair, and professor of chemical and biomedical engineering. He began his career as an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University. 

Wiencek earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy, both in Chemical Engineering, from Case Western Reserve University. As a researcher, he has focused on protein biophysics with applications to drug formulations.

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Dr. Joe Urgo

Interim Senior Vice Provost

Dr. Joe Urgo, Interim Executive Vice President and Provost at The University of Akron

Dr. Joe Urgo is serving a one-year position as interim senior vice provost in the Office of Academic Affairs. His primary duty will be to serve as Acting Dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences. He will also provide continuity in operations and ongoing projects within OAA as requested.

Urgo served as interim executive vice president and provost from November 2019 to May 2020.

Urgo has had extensive experience creating programs, attracting financial support from foundations and individuals, and reallocating internal budget priorities to better align with institutional goals and ambitions. At two institutions he created systems of faculty allocation to implement thoughtful re-deployment of academic resources to meet institutional needs. Urgo has also led mediation exercises among administrators and faculty members where relations had been strained by prolonged professional misalignment and an absence of empathetic insight.

Having earned leadership positions at a private regional university, a public R-1 flagship institution, as well as private and public liberal arts colleges, Urgo is able to introduce multiple models of successful intervention to challenges that inevitably occur on campuses.

Urgo earned a B.A. in political science from Haverford College, an M.A. in liberal studies from Wesleyan University (CT), and an M.A. and Ph.D. in American civilization from Brown University. A literary scholar, he has written five books, edited nine, and published dozens of essays on topics in American literature, culture, and higher education.

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Dr. Rex Ramsier

Rex Ramsier, Vice Provost and Director of Academic Administrative Services

Vice Provost and Director of Academic Admini­strative Services

Dr. Rex Ramsier provides support and oversight of labor relations, accreditation, institutional research, the International Center and research administration.

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Deans

Dr. Aimée L. deChambeau

Dean, University Libraries
Associate Professor of Bibliography

deChambeau-Aimee-headshotDr. Aimée L. deChambeau was appointed on June 14, 2017, as the dean of University Libraries after serving for a year as interim dean. Previously, she was associate dean.

As associate dean, deChambeau’s responsibilities included responding to changes in higher education, the academic environment and the library profession, and ensuring that the organization, management and skill levels of all library personnel evolved to meet new challenges.

A tenured associate professor of bibliography, deChambeau joined the University as head of electronic services in April 2011. Prior posts include serving as an associate librarian at the Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y., and director of the Schmidt Family Information & Technology Center at The Knox School in St. James, N.Y. From 1997-2004 she also served as engineering librarian here at The University of Akron.

deChambeau holds a Ph.D. in Sustainability Education from Prescott College and an MLS from the University of Pittsburgh. She has extensive experience in managing library services and systems in higher education as well as K-12. Her research focuses on sustainable education and student success at the intersection of technology, communities of practice, and collaboration. deChambeau has additional research interests in the area of feminist pedagogy and collaboration.

Her service on campus includes membership on the Williams Honors College Advisory Council since 2015, the Diversity Council since 2013, and the University Council Information Technology Committee since 2011. More.


Dr. Susan Hanlon

Interim Dean, College of Business Administration
Associate Professor of Management
Fitzgerald Institute Fellow of Entrepre­neurship

Hanlon-Susan-headshotDr. Susan Hanlon was appointed interim dean of the college, effective July 1, 2019. She served most recently as associate dean and interim department chair of the George W. Daverio School of Accountancy.

Hanlon, who joined The University of Akron's College of Business Administration in 1990, has long balanced classroom teaching with administrative roles. It was on July 1, 2016, that she became associate dean. From Oct. 1, 2009, to June 30, 2016, she was an assistant dean in the college.

Over the years, she has taught Management Principles, Selection and Staffing, Organization Transformation, CBA Student Success and the CBA Honors Integrated Business Forum. Hanlon's research interests focus on psychological capital, management development, nontraditional rewards and collaborative processes.

Hanlon is overseeing a college that offers undergraduate degree programs in accounting, e-marketing and advertising, finance, management, marketing, sales and international business. The CBA and its undergraduate and graduate programs have been ranked nationally by BusinessWeek, the Princeton Review, U.S. News World Report, the Public Accounting Report, and others. In addition, the CBA and separately, the George W. Daverio School of Accountancy, have received the highest level of accreditation by the selective Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, a distinction held by less than five percent of all business schools.

Hanlon earned a B.A. at Grove City College, an MBA at Kent State University and a DBA at the University of Memphis.


Dr. Timothy McCarragher

Acting Dean, College of Health Professions
Associate Professor of Social Work

McCarragher-Tim-2020-high-res-headshotDr. Timothy McCarragher has been appointed acting dean of the College of Health Professions.

The College of Health Professions is home to the School of Allied Health Technology, School of Counseling, School of Nursing, School of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Social Work, School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and the School of Sport Science and Wellness Education. 

Since joining UA in 2000, McCarragher, an associate professor of social work, has handled a several administrative roles, in addition to teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses. He has been director of the School of Social Work and Master of Social Work coordinator since 2008. McCarragher also has been serving as associate dean of strategic operations and graduate studies.

McCarragher, who is licensed as an independent social worker in Ohio, earned a B.A. in English, magna cum laude, in 1986 at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus. He went on to earn a graduate degree in theology, cum laude, at Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana in Rome, Italy, in 1989, followed by a postgraduate degree in spiritual theology, magna cum laude in 1991 at Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana in Rome, Italy. McCarragher earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work at Cleveland State University in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in 2002.

With many publications and presentations to his credit, McCarragher also is active in a number of professional organizations, including the Stark State Human Services Advisory Board since 2008, the Council on Social Work Education since 2012 and the National Association of Social Workers since 1995. More.


Dr. Craig Menzemer

Interim Dean, College of Engineering
Professor of Civil Engineering

Menzemer-Craig-2018-headshotDr. Craig Menzemer was appointed interim dean of the College of Engineering by The University of Akron Board of Trustees in October 2018. He is responsible for the day to day functions of the college, including curriculum development, student assessment, recruitment and budget. He most recently served as acting dean and as associate dean for graduate studies in the college.

Menzemer joined UA in 1996 after serving more than a decade as a product design and senior technical specialist with Alcoa. Previously, Menzemer was a construction management field engineer for United States Steel Corp.

He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees, all in civil engineering, at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. His professional affiliations include the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Welding Society and Sigma Xi. More.


Christopher C.J. Peters

Dean, School of Law

Peters-CJ-headshotChristopher C.J. Peters joined the School of Law as its dean on June 15, 2017. He most recently served as the associate dean for faculty scholarship and a professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Founded in 1921, The University of Akron School of Law has been accredited by the American Bar Association since 1961, and it is a member of the American Association of Law Schools.

Peters has a wealth of teaching experience at law schools, including Chicago, Loyola Los Angeles, Toledo and Wayne State. He has been teaching at Baltimore Law since 2009, and in 2015, he was appointed to the associate dean post.

He graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where Peters was associate editor of the Michigan Law Review his final year. He earned his B.A. summa cum laude in history from Amherst College.

Peters has been published widely. He is the author of “A Matter of Dispute: Morality, Democracy, and Law” (Oxford University Press, 2011). His writings have been featured in law reviews at such schools as Harvard, Columbia, Yale, UCLA, Oklahoma, BYU and Northwestern. More.


Dr. D. Dane Quinn

Acting Dean, Williams Honors College
Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Quinn-Dane-headshotDr. D. Dane Quinn, who is serving as the acting dean of the Drs. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Honors College, also serves as the associate dean for undergraduate research for the college.

A professor of mechanical engineering, he joined the University in 1995. His research interests lie in the area of applied dynamical systems and mechanics. Specifically, he has considered the effects of resonances in nonlinear systems with applications to rotordynamics, spacecraft dynamics, and the mechanisms by which energy is transferred through mechanical systems, including applications in energy harvesting.

Quinn earned a B.M.E. with highest honor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1991, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in 1995 at Cornell UniversityMore.


Dr. Marnie M. Saunders

Acting Dean, Graduate School
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Quinn-Dane-headshotDr. Marnie Saunders has been appointed acting dean of the Graduate School. Since August 2017, she has served as the associate dean.

In her role as associate dean, Saunders has collaborated on strategic initiatives related to graduate assistantship allocation; conducted oversight of graduate students and graduate student events; assisted the dean with programmatic issues and policies; and worked to enhance graduate student recruitment and retention efforts as well as improve and streamline the admissions to graduation process.

Saunders is a three-time graduate of The University of Akron. After earning a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at UA in 1991, Saunders earned an M.S. in Engineering with studies in both biomedical and mechanical engineering. She was awarded a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in 1998. Saunders was then a postdoctoral fellow in the Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine.

In 2010, Saunders joined the College of Engineering at her alma mater in 2010 as an associate professor of biomedical engineering. She also has a joint appointment with the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Her research interests include orthopaedic biomechanics, bone biomechanics, bone cell mechanobiology, lab-on-a-chip and organ-on-a-chip platforms. More.