Kalamazoo College has named a new provost to provide vision and direction for the academic program. President Jorge G. Gonzalez tapped Danette Ifert Johnson, currently the vice provost at Ithaca College in New York, for the top academic position. She will begin her role on July 1, 2019.
Johnson brings a wealth of experience to Kalamazoo College. A tenured professor at Ithaca College, Johnson has spent four years as vice provost. She also served as the inaugural director of Ithaca’s Integrative Core Curriculum, experience Gonzalez says will serve her well at K.
“In addition to her extensive administrative experience, Danette has a long record of teaching success, and her scholarly accomplishments are considerable,” said Gonzalez. “K is reimagining our signature K-Plan, the individualized academic and experiential path each student creates, to ensure it meets the needs of this generation. Danette will lead a talented and engaged academic community and partner with other leaders of the College to build upon and support an innovative vision to advance Kalamazoo College.”
Johnson says K’s reputation for excellence in residential liberal arts education, and integrating rigorous and meaningful classroom and experiential opportunities drew her to this role.
“My interactions throughout the search process confirmed that the community-wide commitment to prepare students for an ever more complex and diverse world is genuine,” said Johnson adding, “I am especially eager to collaborate with K’s outstanding faculty and staff as we look for ways to enhance the outstanding educational experiences already in place. I am excited to begin working with President Gonzalez and the entire K community.”
An alumna of West Virginia Wesleyan College, Johnson served her alma mater as president of the Alumni Council and a member of the Board of Trustees. She has been a faculty member at West Virginia Wesleyan and Texas Tech University in addition to Ithaca College. She served as the executive director and president of the Eastern Communication Association (ECA), which honored her as a distinguished teaching fellow and distinguished research fellow.
Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communication and history from West Virginia Wesleyan College, a master’s degree in educational psychology from West Virginia University, and her master’s degree and Ph.D. in communication studies from Northwestern University.
Kalamazoo College’s previous provost, Michael A. (Mickey) McDonald, left the College to become the president of the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) of which Kalamazoo College is a member.
Johnson was selected after a national search conducted by an on-campus search committee and assisted by the firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, an executive search firm specializing in the education and non-profit sectors. The search committee was chaired by Rosemary K. Brown Professor in Mathematics and Computer Science Alyce Brady. Also serving on the committee were: Greg Diment ’84, Information Services; Dennis Frost, History and East Asian Studies; Binney Girdler, Biology and Environmental Studies; Shanna Salinas, English; Mary Beth Sarhatt, Trustee; Sarah Westfall, Student Development; and Jordan Wiley ’19. Wendy Fleckenstein provided administrative support.
“My thanks go to Alyce and the entire search committee for their hard work and success in evaluating a highly qualified pool of candidates. I am delighted with the outcome. Danette will be an excellent leader at the College,” said Gonzalez.