New interim provost, senior advisor to president announced

Changes to administration precede new university president

Kylee Sapp

Associate Provost Marc Conner replaced Daniel Wubah as interim provost effective this semester to make the transition smoother for Washington and Lee’s incoming president.

Current W&L President Ken Ruscio announced Jan. 4 in an email sent to students, faculty and staff.

“This is a time of transition not just for the President’s office but also for the University, as we bring one ambitious plan to a close and anticipate developing new priorities for the years ahead,” Ruscio said in the email.

Conner agrees, and says he wants to help make the transition easier for the incoming president by showing what the W&L community really values.

“The provost’s role will be to both listen to and advise the new president,” Conner said. “The more we can know about the whole community, deans and staff, students and faculty, and what they’re most valuing in the years to come, the better we’ll be able to do that.”

Although the changes in staff will help the new president transition, Dean of Students Sidney Evans does not expect that it will affect the day-to-day life of students and faculty dramatically. In fact, many students were unaware that the provost had changed at all.

Wubah is now the senior advisor to the president, but Conner says working alongside Wubah over the past two years has helped him understand his new responsibilities as interim provost.

Conner is also an English professor, which he says will help him adjust to his new role.

“Everything you do as a professor, really no matter what your field . . .you’re in conversation with other professors and students, and the most important thing in administrative leadership is communication,” he said.

But Conner still anticipates facing some challenges in the months ahead.

“The biggest challenge will be to, on the one hand, keep everything moving smoothly, the engine running and really well tuned,” Conner said. “And at the same time trying to position the school for the near and far future.”

Conner says he is looking forward to the job because he enjoys working with people from different departments.