Following open-session discussions and presentations throughout the month of November, Abbey Zink, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Sam Houston State University, has been named Slippery Rock University’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Zink spoke to faculty, staff, students and community members during an open session on Nov. 11. She emphasized issues such as diversity and inclusivity, discussing her time working at diverse universities such as Texas A&M University at Kingsville. She also talked about her work in forming the Diversity and Inclusion Committee within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at SHSU and the progress they have made.
She also discussed her passion for fostering innovation and collaboration. She spoke eagerly about Georgetown University’s Red House, which is described as “a place to meet and share ideas, a space for innovation.” She added that a similar shared space has been in the works at SHSU, and it will be appropriately named Katalyst for their mascot, the fictional “Bearkat.”
The announcement was made today by SRU’s President William Behre during the council of trustees’ academic and student affairs committee meeting in the Smith Student Center Theater. Zink will serve as the university’s chief academic officer and the highest-ranking university official behind the president; she will begin her new duties this summer.
Zink will replace Jerry Chmielewski, who has been interim provost and vice president for academic affairs since June. Chmielewski, who will return to his position as the dean for SRU’s College of Health, Engineering and Science, assumed the interim role following Phillip Way’s departure who was with the University for seven years.
“Abbey is joining SRU at an exciting time as we look at a variety of initiatives to further solidify our foothold in the region,” Behre said.