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Home News 2016 CAU Names New Provost; Peter O. Nwosu, Ph.D., Takes Helm of Academic Enterprise July 15

CAU Names New Provost; Peter O. Nwosu, Ph.D., Takes Helm of Academic Enterprise July 15

Posted on Monday, June 06, 2016

Peter O. Nwosu, Ph.D.


Contact: Donna L. Brock

ATLANTA (June 6, 2016) – Clark Atlanta University President Ronald A. Johnson today announced the selection of California State University–Fullerton (CSUF) Associate Vice President for Academic Programs Peter O. Nwosu (the “N” is silent), Ph.D., as the University’s new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, effective July 15.  Nwosu fills the position permanently following the August 2015 death of James A. Hefner, Ph.D., who had served in the role since 2012.              

The author of three books and more than 80 scholarly publications, Nwosu is a tenured professor, a Fulbright Scholar, an American Council on Education Fellow and a graduate of the Institutes for Higher Education at Harvard University.  He earned the B.A. degree in mass communication and journalism from the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria; the M.A. degree from Towson University near Baltimore; and the Ph.D. in communications studies from Howard University in Washington, D.C.   In his role at CSUF, the largest campus in the California State University system, ranking fifth in the nation for the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to students from underrepresented groups, he manages 55 undergraduate and 54 graduate degree programs and provides leadership for the university’s student success goals and quality assurance efforts.  He also serves as CSUF’s accreditation liaison officer for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.         

As Clark Atlanta’s new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Nwosu will partner with President Johnson and the University faculty to mobilize Clark Atlanta to enhance academic excellence, capitalizing on forward momentum by strengthening academic programs with the goal of positioning the doctoral research University as “first choice” for the country’s brightest students.  To this task, he brings more than 20 years of expertise in strategic planning and decisive, data-driven leadership in the areas of process improvement and institutional reform, student success and college completion, curriculum planning and program design, quality assurance and organizational assessment and effectiveness.           

“Dr. Nwosu brings to Clark Atlanta an impeccable set of credentials, an absolute passion for students’ academic and career success, and a commitment to faculty as the foundation of the Academy,” President Johnson says.  “He exemplifies the highest standards of scholarship and possesses the visionary ability to identify and realize the full capacity and potential of higher education organizations through methodical, systemic planning and collaboration.  He is a brilliant institutional architect, but also a tactician who will play a major role in advancing Clark Atlanta’s academic enterprise as a vibrant global forum for research, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.”             

“As a scholar and the product of an HBCU,” Nwosu says, “I know that it is impossible to extract the contributions of Clark Atlanta University and its parent institutions, Clark College and Atlanta University, from the uplift of the oppressed, underrepresented and disenfranchised in America.  So to become a part of driving a social and educational movement that has endured for more than 150 years is at once humbling and exhilarating.  As an academic leader,” he adds, “the opportunity to recalibrate and fortify this institution so that it advances discourse and creates solutions that catapult global populations into the next century is one that I approach with tremendous enthusiasm and energy.  I am excited to engage in this great work.”

Academic Challenges, Successes Invigorate New Provost

Nwosu’s career, and the resulting portfolio, tracks through some of the nation’s foremost institutions of higher learning.  As associate vice president for academic programs at CSUF, a position he has held since January 2014, he has accomplished several important milestones.  Under his

leadership, CSUF’s Office of Academic Programs spearheaded multiple efforts to revitalize the assessment process as well as the culture undergirding it.  In its response to the school’s institutional review, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges review panel specifically lauded the institution for “creating a well-crafted assessment process; developing, aligning, and assessing student learning outcomes; conducting robust program reviews; and integrating quality assurance procedures into the fabric of the university.”  Nwosu also has engineered multiple collaborations to foster the development of innovative undergraduate and graduate student success teams, and the design and implementation of a wide range of data-driven student success campaigns, including expanded advising practices and strengthened outreach.   As a result, the university improved its four- and six-year graduation rates, and its student success approach has been recognized nationally.  The National Academic Advising Association recently, selected CSUF to receive its 2016 Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award for “innovative and/or exemplary practices” that make “significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising.” 

Dr. Nwosu is responsible for numerous other accomplishments at CSUF, from streamlining the workflow processes for campus curriculum and the catalog, resulting in the successful launch of the University’s first online interactive catalog and its first online curriculum submission and approval platform, to providing leadership in generating external funding totaling nearly $5 million to support improvements in graduate and undergraduate studies.  

From May 2011 to December 2013, Nwosu served as associate vice president for Academic Affairs, Institutional Planning and Assessment at Tennessee State University in Nashville, where he led the successful reaffirmation of accreditation without conditions by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges.  He also led the development and implementation of that institution’s 2010-2015 strategic plan.  His previous service as special assistant to the president for institutional planning (March 2010 – May 2011) prepared him to implement campus-wide institutional effectiveness plans, develop new degree programs, general education reform and assessment, and manage personnel processes, including the evaluation of deans and department heads, as well as student evaluation of faculty instruction.

During the 2009-2010 academic year, Nwosu served as special assistant to the provost for academic planning and diversity initiatives at California State University Northridge (CSUN).  In this role, he implemented professional development opportunities for department chairs and assisted with faculty recruitment and retention planning.  During the 2008-2009 academic year, upon nomination by CSUN’s president and provost, he served as a strategic planning fellow of the American Council on Education at TSU where he was a member of the president’s cabinet and chaired the Strategic Planning and Business Intelligence committees.  

Classroom Experiences Inform New Provost’s Approach to Leadership

Nwosu is presently a full professor of human communications studies at CSUF.  He also served as a professor of communication at TSU (2010-2013); professor of communication studies at CSUN (2004-2011) and CSU Sacramento (1990-2004).  He chaired the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at CSUN’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (2007-2008) and the Department of Communication Studies at CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communications (2004-2007).

“My time in the classroom,” Nwosu says, “anchors me to my purpose as an educational leader and, more important,” he notes “fuels my passion for what I do.  At the end of the day, the success of any academic leader is not determined by titles or position, or even the number of awards and citations received.  It is the success—short- and long-term--of students who enter and graduate that determines one’s efficacy.  To see young scholars, artists, activists and entrepreneurs mature into critical thinkers and global citizens is compelling, and makes me all the more excited about becoming a part of the Clark Atlanta University community.  This is going to be a transformative experience.” 

Category: Administration
Keywords: Peter O. Nwosu, CAU Provost