Columbus State University Names Mathematician as New Provost

COLUMBUS, Ga. - An accomplished mathematician who is currently dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Illinois University has been tapped to become Columbus State University’s first provost.

Inessa LeviInessa Levi, right, will start in Columbus on July 1, CSU President Tim Mescon announced Thursday.

“I am so pleased that Dean Levi will join us as provost and vice president for academic affairs as well as professor of mathematics,” Mescon said. “Dr. Levi has a distinguished academic career and will be an exceptional addition to our team.”

Levi earned her doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. She has been dean since 2004 at Western Illinois, a public, comprehensive university with two campuses and 13,500 students.

As dean of the university’s largest college, Levi counts among her accomplishments the development of a diverse, strong team; finding funds for the professional development of faculty; leading and following a college-wide strategic plan that follows the university’s; the development of quality, in-demand student programs and experiences; and private fundraising. In 2008, she won Western Illinois’ President’s Excellence in Leadership in Diversity award.

Before becoming dean at Western Illinois in 2004, Levi (pronounced Lee-vee) was at the University of Louisville, where she was a professor, acting chair of the math department and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I am truly excited about joining Columbus State University,” Levi said Thursday. “Becoming a part of the leadership team at Columbus State University is a tremendous honor. CSU has a rich history of excellence and achievement. Moving into the second decade of the century, I look forward to working together with President Mescon and all my new colleagues to continue building a bright and sustainable future for the institution.”

Levi was one of three provost candidates who were invited to campus earlier this month after a search committee, assisted by Parker Executive Search, combed through more than 50 applications and then interviewed 10 candidates.

The provost will serve as Columbus State University’s chief academic officer, with broad responsibility for the overall excellence and vitality of the university’s academic life and programs. The provost leads and manages the Academic Affairs units, which includes academic colleges and offices currently structured as Arts & Letters, the D. Abbott Turner College of Business, Education, Science, University College, grants and contracts, and other academic support functions. The provost is a member of the President’s Staff, which includes the vice presidents for student affairs, business and finance, advancement, the chief information officer, the athletic director and the public relations director.


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Contact: John Lester, 706-562-1652