When he retires this summer, Dr. Mark Gromko, interim provost and associate vice president for academic affairs, will leave a legacy of teaching, scholarship and academic leadership at BGSU that both he and the University can be proud of.
In honor of his many contributions, Faculty Senate presented him April 9 with the Lifetime Achievement Award. With it came a commemorative plaque and $1,000.
Also at the event, special recognition for his many years of service to the University and to Faculty Senate was given Dr. Rich Hebein, who has announced his upcoming retirement.
“Dr. Gromko has distinguished himself in a variety of roles at Bowling Green State University for 30 years,” Dr. Timothy Messer-Kruse, chair of the ethnic studies department, wrote in nominating the interim provost for the award. “In all of these positions he has demonstrated leadership, competence and a spirit of collegiality.”
A biologist specializing in genetics, Gromko began as an assistant professor at BGSU in 1978 and rose to professor in 1991. During that period, he published about 30 refereed journal articles and book chapters, and presented more than 20 papers at professional conferences, on the Drosophilia melanogaster, or fruit fly. He was also a successful grant writer, directed master’s theses and doctoral dissertations and taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
He began his career as an administrator in 1994, when he became associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1997, he joined the provost’s office as vice provost for academic affairs, overseeing program review, Undergraduate Council, faculty personnel and student assessment. Messer-Kruse wrote, “No one on campus had more firm knowledge of the arcane details of the various curricula and academic requirements of the University.”
Former provost John Folkins wrote of Gromko, “Mark is a highly efficient person. He gets things done and done well. Mark is fully open and collaborative. . . . He cares deeply about student learning and strives to make the educational experience as good as it can be for our students. He has been a champion of student learning outcomes, improvement of our general education programs, enhancing the Honors Program and facilitating faculty efforts to improve through the Center for Teaching and Learning.”
Gromko served as senior vice provost for academic programs in 2007-08 before again being named interim provost and associate vice president for academic affairs.
“As interim provost, he leads Academic Affairs in what must surely be one of our institution’s most challenging periods,” wrote Arts and Sciences Dean Simon Morgan-Russell. “In all these significant administrative positions, Dr. Gromko has demonstrated his deep commitment to the quality of undergraduate and graduate education at BGSU, his rational, reasonable, and dialectic style of leadership helping to maintain our academic integrity for the last 15 years. . . . Few of us, indeed, could hope to leave a legacy in teaching, scholarship and academic leadership at BGSU such as he has enjoyed, and I believe he deserves to be recognized for the significant and lasting contributions he has made to the advancement of our institution, its faculty, and its students.”
Hebein, chair of romance and classical studies, is also Faculty Senate secretary. Over the course of his BGSU career, he has been chair of his department for about 12 years, noted Dr. Ellen Williams, chair of Faculty Senate.
He came to Bowling Green in 1969 as a faculty member in Latin, and has since been associate dean for student affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences, faculty ombudsman and secretary to the board of trustees.
“His service to the senate has been extensive,” Williams said. He has been a senator for more than 20 years, was chair and vice chair twice each and is finishing his second term as secretary. He has served on myriad committees and subcommittees. In addition, “we all depend heavily on Rich for interpretations of the charter, and he’s our historian,” Williams said, thanking him for all he has done.
Also leaving Faculty Senate this summer will be secretary Barbara Garay, who has been in the senate office for five years. Williams thanked her as well for her help and support.