Amy Thompson, Ph.D., the senior vice provost of academic affairs and acting dean of the College of Graduate Studies at the University of Toledo, has been named provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wright State University, President Sue Edwards, Ph.D., announced today.
Thompson will join Wright State on June 1, succeeding Oliver Evans, Ph.D., who has served as interim provost since 2021.
Thompson was selected as the university’s next provost after a four-month national search that included a diverse pool of 47 candidates. She was one of four finalists who visited Wright State in March to interview for the provost position and meet with faculty, staff, students, administrators, the Board of Trustees and community leaders.
The search was led by an 18-member committee representing a cross-section of faculty and staff members, administrators and students.
Thompson’s strong leadership background, diverse academic experience, and passion for student, faculty and staff success make her highly qualified to serve as Wright State’s provost, Edwards said in an email to the university community.
“Dr. Thompson brings an energy and enthusiasm to the work of the Office of Provost,” Edwards said.
Throughout her campus interactions, Edwards said, “Dr. Thompson demonstrated a positive, forward-looking vision.”
Those positives traits and characteristics were documented in the feedback the search committee received from individuals from across the entire Wright State community, Edwards said.
“Dr. Thompson’s strong student-centric focus is complemented by her commitment to academic achievement. This combination will be sure to enhance our efforts supporting student success,” Edwards said.
Thompson emphasized that she takes a student-centered approach to her work and decision-making.
“Student success is key,” she said. “I’m always looking for ways to make sure that when students arrive on campus, they’re successful, that they are supported and that we can help them graduate in a timely fashion.”
During her campus visit, Thompson said she was impressed with Wright State’s students, faculty and staff and the depth and breadth of the university’s academic programs. She said she is ready to add to the energy and excitement she experienced on Wright State’s campus.
“There’s just so much opportunity and talent here, and I’m thrilled to roll up my sleeves and join the team,” she said.
Because of her experience at other institutions of higher education in Ohio, Edwards said, Thompson understands the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the state legislature and the overall Ohio academic landscape. This will allow her to “hit the ground running as she moves into this new role,” Edwards said.
Thompson said she was drawn to Wright State’s mission to “transform the lives of the students and the communities we serve.”
“After visiting campus, it is evident that Wright State provides a transformative experience for students and contributes to the development of the region,” she said. “To me, there’s no greater calling than to expand educational opportunities and access for everyone and to improve where you live.”
She plans to begin her tenure as provost by building relationships among the faculty, staff and students and helping to increase enrollment and retain existing students.
Thompson values transparency, communication and collaboration, strives for excellence and leads with empathy.
She takes pride in supporting faculty, staff and administrators and helping them overcome the obstacles and challenges they face to meet their goals.
“My job is to make their jobs easier and to help them find creative solutions for complex problems,” she said. “My greatest joy in what I do is helping other people be successful.”
Thompson has more than 11 years of administrative experience in higher education. Her leadership roles in both academic and faculty affairs have provided her with experience in supervising the curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate programs, accreditation, assessment, classroom services and technology, and leading a variety of faculty-related work.
Thompson has served as the senior vice provost of academic affairs at the University of Toledo since August 2020 and acting dean of its College of Graduate Studies since July 2021. She is accountable for all curricular and program approval for both undergraduate and graduate programs and oversees multiple divisions with a combined budget of $27 million.
She has chaired the university’s COVID-19 Pandemic Operations Team and the Ohio Inter-University Council Reopening Task Force and served as the university’s liaison to the Ohio Department of Higher Education and Chancellor’s Council on Graduate Studies.
From 2018 to 2020, Thompson served as UToledo’s vice provost and associate provost of faculty affairs, maintaining effective faculty and administrative relations for over 1,100 full-time and 850 part-time faculty.
She joined the faculty at the University of Toledo in 2008 and was promoted to professor of public health in 2013.
She has also served as the director of the public health Ph.D. program and the founding co-director of the Center for Health and Successful Living, which serves cancer survivors from underrepresented groups and provides learning opportunities for students.
As a former president of UToledo’s Faculty Senate, she has experience in facilitating shared governance and negotiation.
During a yearlong Presidential Fellowship in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, she engaged with every function of sponsored programs, including technology transfer and patents, while leading the office’s strategic planning process.
Prior to joining Toledo, she served as assistant professor of health education at Kent State University, assistant professor of health education at Mississippi State University, and director of education and research at the Ohio Coalition in Toledo.
She served as the national president of Eta Sigma Gamma (National Health Education Honorary) and is the current president of the Society for Health Education (National Public Health Professional Association).
She has published more than 75 peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters, has given over 150 professional peer-reviewed presentations, and secured $1.7 million in grant funding.
Thompson earned a Ph.D. in health education, with a minor in public administration, and a master of education in public health from the University of Toledo, and a bachelor’s degree in community health and health promotion, with a minor in family life and human sexuality, from Central Michigan University.