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Dr. Wenying Xu named Provost/Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Wenying Xu has been named Jacksonville University’s new Provost/Chief Academic Officer, welcoming a consensus builder renowned for her innovation and inclusion to lead its academic efforts as it takes advantage of unprecedented opportunities for growth and improvement.

Dr. Xu comes to JU after serving as vice president for academic affairs at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, a leading institution in health sciences, sustainability, women’s issues and global awareness that offers baccalaureate, graduate and doctoral programs.

In her new role, which begins July 7, Dr. Xu will oversee curriculum and all academic programs at JU, which is moving forward at a fast pace toward greater academic excellence, an enhanced student learning experience, upgraded facilities and programs and expanded regional impact. Dr. Bill Crosby, who has overseen Jacksonville University’s academics during the past year as interim Chief Academic Officer, will actively transition with Dr. Xu in the coming weeks and months.

“I am humbled and excited to have been selected,” Dr. Xu said. “It is a great honor to join President Tim Cost and the JU community in their aspiration to make JU one of the best private universities in the South.

JU promises to be a destination for students from all over the nation and world. I’m thrilled by the fantastic opportunity to contribute to JU’s advancement in academic excellence, community engagement and globalization.”

Over her more than 30-year career, Xu has become widely admired by students, faculty and alumni for her cohesive approach, having developed talents in enrollment management, tenure and faculty review, merit pay, graduate programs, research productivity and accountability, fundraising, interdisciplinary curriculum development, international partnerships, student recruitment and community engagement.

Dr. Anthony Ouellette, co-chair of the JU Department of Biology and Marine Science and member of the JU Provost/Chief Academic Officer search committee, said Dr. Xu’s professional skills mesh seamlessly with her leadership talent.

“Those who have worked with her say she is an inclusive leader, a mentor to many, brings cohesion to faculty, is a consensus builder and is deeply humane, brilliant and productive. She is an intellectual with a gift for leading,” he said. “Wenying impressed the search committee with her cultural awareness, passion, insight, ability to focus in on problems and visionary capabilities. She holds the ideals and values of academics in the highest regard, and sees that what we do here is very much a human endeavor.”

Dr. Xu was born and raised in China and received her B.A. in English from Hebei University, where she taught English for three years after receiving her degree. She received an M.A. in English from West Virginia University and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Pittsburgh.

Previously, she was associate professor of English at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., and was a visiting professor at the American Studies Center at Sichuan University in China. In 2002, she became a Fulbright Lecturer at Xiamen University in China.