Academic leadership

Dr. John WiencekJohn Wiencek

Executive Vice President and Provost

John Wiencek, Ph.D., an accomplished chemical and biochemical engineer, experienced academic administrator, and Northeast Ohio native, is UA's 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.

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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.

More: Dr. Wiencek's CV

Dr. Gwyneth (Gwen) PriceDr. Gwyneth (Gwen) Price

Senior Vice Provost for Academic & Faculty Affairs

Dr. Gwyneth Price is UA’s Senior Vice Provost in the Office of Academic Affairs. Gwen will act as the liaison between faculty and OAA, leading academic initiatives brought by the faculty, facilitating the work of various divisions and implementing the priorities as set out by the Provost. With a commitment to diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and academic excellence, UA has the potential for growth and refinement, and it is with this lens that Gwen will work with all individuals on campus, administration, faculty and students alike, to build on UA’s historical success and develop new opportunities.

In this new role, Price will provide oversight for a wide range of strategic initiatives for the Office of Academic Affairs in the areas of accreditation and academic policies, as well as faculty hiring, development and support. She will also work in collaboration with the deans and department chairs, Faculty Senate, University Council, Vice President for Student Affairs, Chief Financial Officer and the Associate Vice Provost for Student Pathways to foster shared governance and support the success of students, faculty and academic programs. Price will also promote interdisciplinary and experiential learning initiatives and activities, and facilitate the development of high quality online academic, credential-based and continuing education programs to increase enrollment and generate revenue, among other responsibilities.

Price has spent the past 15 years in higher education, beginning her career as a faculty member in the Middle & Secondary Education department at Edinboro University within the PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) where she earned tenure and promotion and worked extensively in the area of accreditation. She then transitioned to administration at Clarion University where she was integral to the re-establishment of the School of Education of which she became Dean. Most recently she held the position of Dean of the College of Education and Associate Provost for Students & Graduate Studies for PennWest University, the institution formed by the integration of three PASSHE universities. Gwen was integral to the development and implementation of the curriculum process for the merger and facilitated the work of faculty across all three campuses.

Gwen earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Bucknell University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to her time in higher education, Gwen taught high school Chemistry and Physics for 15 years.

Dr. Fedearia Nicholson-SwevalDr. Fedearia Nicholson-Sweval, Dean of the William Honors College Vice Provost of student pathways at The University of Akron

Vice Provost of Student Pathways and Dean of the Williams Honors College

Dr. Fedearia Nicholson-Sweval is dean of the Williams Honors College and vice provost of student pathways in the Office of Academic Affairs. Fedearia will lead efforts to attract and retain students who enter the University of Akron. Students come to UA via different pathways and with varied levels of preparation. Students can be young high schoolers or older adults, require augmentation of basic math or English skills, or ready to launch into an Honors thesis project. She is responsible for understanding and supporting each of these student groups so that they progress and graduate in a timely way.

Nicholson-Sweval’s experience and leadership in promoting diversity and equity in higher education was also gained through Northeast Ohio Medical University and Ursuline College, where she served in various multicultural affairs positions. Prior, Nicholson-Sweval worked in the office of the dean of student affairs at Cuyahoga Community College.

Nicholson-Sweval is active on several community boards, serving as vice president of the board for Project Grad Akron, chair of the board for Heart-to-Heart Leadership, a member of the Akron Urban League and a member of the inclusion committee for the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce. She’s also the recipient of many awards and recognitions, such as the Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian Award for Education, the American Council of Education Ohio Women’s Network Professional Development Scholarship Award and the Akron Chamber of Commerce’s 30 for the Future Award.

An Akron resident, Nicholson-Sweval earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Studies and Public Affairs, a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, all from UA.

More: Dr. Nicholson-Sweval's CV

Dr. Suzanne BauschDr. Suzanne Bausch

Vice President for Research and Business Engagement and Dean of the Graduate School

Dr. Suzanne Bausch is an accomplished researcher and experienced administrator who joined The University of Akron in August 2022 as the vice president for research & business engagement, the dean of the Graduate School, and The University of Akron president's designee as president of its Research Foundation.

She oversees The University of Akron’s Graduate School, Research Foundation, and Offices of Research and Technology Transfer. She is a primary point of contact for businesses interested in collaborative agreements and partnerships with The University of Akron.

Bausch previously served as associate dean for research and graduate affairs followed by vice dean of the College of Science & Mathematics and School of Health Professions at Rowan University. In these roles she facilitated an increase in the college's externally funded research portfolio and expansion of its graduate programs. She also led federally funded university-wide interdisciplinary grants focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Bausch’s sixteen-year independent faculty career was spent at the Uniformed Service University School of Medicine, the nation’s military medical school, where she ran an internationally recognized and continuously funded neuropharmacology and epilepsy research laboratory. She served for seven years as vice chair and a stint as acting/interim chair of Pharmacology.

Bausch worked as a radiologic and MRI technologist before receiving her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a minor in Biology from Metropolitan State College of Denver, Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Washington, and postdoctoral training in Neuroscience from Duke University.

Dr. Stephen McKellipsDr. Stephen McKellips, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management at The University of Akron

Vice Provost for Enrollment Management

Dr. Stephen McKellips is vice provost for enrollment management in the Office of Academic Affairs.


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