Phi Kappa Psi brother and Provost of Valparaiso University, Dr. Mark Schwehn, will be retiring at the end of the school year. Below is the email President Heckler sent to the University community. Congratulations, Brother Schwehn, thank you for your service.
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Dear Students: I want to inform you that Mark Schwehn ’67, Ph.D., Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, has announced his intention to retire as provost effective June 30, 2014, and return to the faculty. Provost Schwehn has loyally served Valparaiso University since 1983, and he was named provost in 2009.
Provost Schwehn’s leadership has been outstanding during the past 30 years. In addition to serving as provost, he established the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts and has been Project Director for the Program since 1990, recruiting 42 postdoctoral fellows, many of whom have gone on to notable academic positions nationally.
During his time as provost, he was instrumental in developing Valparaiso University’s academic plan, part of the University’s campus-wide Strategic Plan. Additionally, Provost Schwehn has overseen the expansion of academic programs in all of the University’s colleges. In 2012, the University hired a Director of Writing to strengthen writing skills in students of all majors. The breadth of academic offerings at Valpo has expanded significantly under Provost Schwehn’s direction, including an expansion of the College of Nursing into other areas of health professions and several new master’s programs. In addition, he fostered a partnership with the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago with a Hyde Park campus for Valparaiso University; developed a vision and mission for the STEM disciplines; and developed a strategic plan for internationalization that aims to provide a cross-cultural learning experience.
While he served as Dean of Christ College from 1990 to 2003, Provost Schwehn led an initiative that raised more than $7 million in gifts and grants, and increased enrollment in the College. Additionally, he was instrumental in both raising the academic profile and increasing the diversity of the Christ College student body.
After stepping down as provost, he intends to take a year sabbatical to focus on completing a book project while in residence at the Collegeville Institute at St. John’s College in Minnesota, where he previously held the position of resident scholar during the 2005-2006 academic year. Following his leave, he will rejoin Christ College as a faculty member.
It has been one of the great personal and professional privileges of my life to serve alongside Mark Schwehn. Few people in the history of Valparaiso University have had greater impact on the institution as we know it today; his influence on this institution’s mission, vision and direction has been pervasive and incalculable. I am confident Provost Schwehn will continue to make significant contributions to the University and that we will continue to be blessed by his leadership and service.
A national search for a new provost will commence shortly, and more details regarding members of the committee will be announced in the coming weeks.
Please join me in thanking Provost Schwehn for his outstanding leadership and dedication to Valparaiso University.
Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D.