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Provost candidate notes university progression comes with student success

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  • man at podium

Posted on April 20, 2017

John Omachonu, a candidate for provost, said progress at a university is not only measured by noting increases in retention and graduation rates.

"When everyone agrees with the statement that student success is the priority here, then we're making progress," Omachonu said.

The senior vice provost for Academic Affairs at Kennesaw State University gave a public presentation April 20 in the Kirkhof Center. He will be available for coffee and conversation on Friday, April 21, from 11 a.m.-noon in the DeVos Center, Regency Room.

Omachonu said while his role at Kennesaw State is housed in academic affairs, he spends about 75 percent of his time working on student affairs.

Like other candidates, he was asked to answer questions about challenges that might arise at Grand Valley within five years. Omachonu mentioned decreasing state funding and also said it's imperative to create a welcoming campus in which all students feel a connection.

"We know students who are leaving campus are not necessarily those with the lowest GPAs," he said. "They are not connected to campus life but do not fit the profile of students who are at-risk."

Omachonu was named senior vice provost at Kennesaw State in 2015. He had served as vice provost for Academic Affairs and chief diversity officer for Middle Tennessee State University from 2011-2015, and associate dean for the College of Mass Communication from 2004-2009.

He earned degrees from Howard University including a doctorate in mass communication, a master's in mass communication and a bachelor's in psychology/zoology.