Marilyn Wells Named Chancellor at Penn State Brandywine

Wells has been University’s provost, senior VP of academic affairs since July 2013.

November 26, 2019 | News Story

a person in a black suitMankato, Minn. – Marilyn Wells (pictured), provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Minnesota State University, Mankato since July 22, 2013, has been appointed chancellor at Penn State Brandywine, located in Media, Pennsylvania, effective Jan. 13.

Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport congratulated Wells on her new position and thanked her for her numerous contributions to Minnesota State Mankato.

“It is with deep pride and respect that I announce that Dr. Marilyn Wells has been selected as the next chancellor for Penn State Brandywine,” said Davenport. “I am happy for her new opportunity and have every confidence she will be successful in her new endeavor. I know that I speak for many campus and regional leaders in saying that we will miss Dr. Wells’ dedication and visionary leadership here at Minnesota State Mankato, one of Minnesota’s top universities.”

Davenport said Wells would continue in her current role until mid-January and that a farewell reception in her honor will be held Jan. 8.

Davenport said the University would conduct a national search for its next permanent provost and senior vice president. He has appointed David Jones, Ph.D., vice president of student affairs and enrollment management and Gregg Marg, Ph.D., professor of biology and president of the Faculty Association, to serve as search co-chairs. Davenport will appoint an interim provost to provide leadership and support for the Division of Academic Affairs during the search process.

Wells joined Minnesota State Mankato after serving as vice provost and graduate dean at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania from 2008 to 2013.

At Minnesota State Mankato, Wells has served on the president’s cabinet and participated with Davenport and the University’s vice presidents in overall management of the University. As Minnesota State Mankato’s chief academic officer, Wells provided creative, visionary and responsible leadership for the academic enterprise, said Davenport. She also provided leadership for the University’s research enterprise, library services, global education, online education and institutional diversity and inclusion.

Davenport said Wells’ achievements at Minnesota State Mankato are many. Among the most impressive of those, said Davenport, involved leading the University to develop its first-ever integrated academic master plan, a new undergraduate integrated advising model, curricular and learning innovations, new faculty and student research opportunities, increases in external grants and expansion of strategic partnerships.

During Wells’ tenure, Minnesota State Mankato launched more than 30 new academic programs across six academic colleges. Davenport credited Wells with playing a key role in Minnesota State Mankato’s growth of students receiving prestigious national and international fellowships, growth in the University’s international educational exchanges and increased international student enrollment and development of an international affairs strategic plan as well as a diversity and inclusion plan for the University.

Since Davenport became Minnesota State Mankato’s president in 2002, Wells is the fourth member of his cabinet to go on to become a university or college president or chancellor. Scott Olson served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Minnesota State Mankato from 2003 until being named president at Winona State University in 2012. Anne Blackhurst, who served as acting vice president for academic and student affairs at Minnesota State Mankato in 2010-2011, was named provost and senior vice president of Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2011. Blackhurst became president of MSU Moorhead in 2014. Michael Miller served as the interim vice president for university advancement and dean of the college of education at Minnesota State Mankato before assuming a presidency in 2010 at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,297 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.

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