University News

Hawkinson: Interim Provost

April 27, 2011

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Due to many changes occurring in leadership at Western Illinois University and to ensure a seamless transition in academic affairs as WIU President-Elect Jack Thomas assumes the presidency, Thomas has named Ken Hawkinson, associate provost for budget, planning and personnel, as interim provost, effective July 1. A national search for a provost is underway.

Hawkinson was named associate provost in June 2008. Previously, he was the associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication from 2005-2008. Hawkinson joined the Western Illinois faculty in 1988 as an assistant professor in the communication arts and sciences department. During 1990-91, Hawkinson was named a Fulbright Scholar and served as a professor teaching American studies at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso (West Africa), while conducting research on African folklore and oral tradition.

He earned the rank of professor in 1997 and was named chair of the communication department in 1998. Hawkinson has three Faculty Excellence awards and has served on various University committees, including two years as vice chair of the Faculty Senate and chair of the Council on Admission, Graduation and Academic Standards. He served as vice president and president of the University Professionals of Illinois and as president elect, president and past president of the Illinois Speech and Theatre Association.

Hawkinson earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Western and his Ph.D. in speech communication from Southern Illinois University. He served as a U.S. Army officer from 1979-82, and he spent two years in Mali, West Africa, as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

"Dr. Hawkinson's experience as associate provost, along with his years in leadership positions in the College of Fine Arts and Communication and as a faculty member allow him to seamlessly step into the role of interim provost and continue to enhance academic affairs at WIU," Thomas said.

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