Koch Named Northern's New Provost

Susan Koch (pronounced "cook") will be the new provost and vice president for academic affairs, effective July 1. She currently serves as the dean of the graduate college and associate provost at the University of Northern Iowa.


“I was attracted to Northern Michigan University because it is a dynamic institution, proud of its heritage, with talented faculty and staff and a really optimistic, can-do attitude,” said Koch in a phone interview. “Also, NMU obviously plays an absolutely central role in the economic and cultural development of the region and state. All of these factors combined made Northern a desirable destination for an educator."

Koch said she is excited about Northern's breadth of instructional and academic programs, as well as its internationalization efforts, and is intrigued by the Superior Edge program, which could serve as a role model for other universities. She said she is confident that the university, combined with its location, will be a great fit both professionally and personally.

"My husband [Dennis] and I loved Marquette from the moment we got there. We’re very interested in communities that have interesting histories and Marquette was just bursting with stories to tell. The natural landscape is incredible. Who could not be immediately engaged in its beauty? The area offered all of the things that we like to do. If we make it back to look for a house before the hockey season ends, we would love to take in a game. It's a new sport for us. My husband went out and bought a book on the rules of hockey. We’re still a little unclear about icing, but we’re very excited to learn.”

Koch was one of four finalists invited to Northern for interviews. President Les Wong said she consistently emerged as the top candidate across all campus constituencies.

"Dr. Koch brings the creativity, experience and style that Northern will need to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges,” Wong added. “She is a successful administrator and passionate about student learning. I look forward to our work together. We will be bringing her to campus a few times before her official start in July. I want to offer this special welcome to our newest Wildcat. I also want to sincerely thank Fred [Joyal] for his work as the provost.”

Joyal was named NMU provost and vice president for academic affairs in 2001 after two years as the interim. At a university forum in October 2005, he announced his intent to step down once the position was filled to focus on Northern's economic development efforts.

"We have a lot of irons in the fire and Fred's attention to these will ensure our success in challenging budget times," Wong said. "He will be a key player in our future and remains a valued and active member of NMU."


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Updated: February 14, 2007

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