BGSU hires North Carolina administrator as provost

whiteheadBowling Green State University has hired a physicist with longtime administrative experience as its next provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Joe B. Whitehead will join BGSU January 22, 2019, BGSU announced Nov. 9.

As provost, Whitehead will lead and support the faculty, implement academic priorities and oversee BGSU’s academic programs and resources.

“We welcome Dr. Whitehead to BGSU and I look forward to working with him to raise the University’s research profile and to work together to successfully implement the updated, five-year strategic plan, Focus on the Future,” said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers.

“BGSU is poised for great success due to the commitment of faculty, staff, and students,” Whitehead said. “I am delighted to become a part of the BGSU family that will realize that success!” 

Whitehead’s current position is professor of physics at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT) and senior adviser for research with the University of North Carolina System — North Carolina’s state office of higher education — where he manages an extensive portfolio of research initiatives.

He earlier served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at NCAT, and as dean of the College of Science and Technology at the University of Southern Mississippi.

As NCAT provost, he was successful in growing enrollment and retention, improving student success and raising the university's research profile. As dean at Southern Mississippi, he led the development of new programs in engineering, science and logistics, and innovative initiatives to support students and increase research, scholarship and creative activities.

A physicist specializing in liquid crystal and polymer materials, Whitehead has a strong background in applied sciences and research and has held faculty appointments both in physics and chemistry.

The move marks a return to Ohio for Whitehead, who received both his master’s and doctorate in physics from Kent State University.

He and his wife, Sonia, have one daughter, Alyssa, who is the assistant women's soccer coach at the University of California Davis. They also have a son, Nickolas, who will finish his master's degree in chemistry at NCAT in May 2019. 

“We look forward to becoming part of the Bowling Green and Wood County community,” Whitehead said.