MNSU provost chosen as Penn State Brandywine chancellor

Maria Ly
Staff Writer

Marilyn Wells, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Minnesota State University, Mankato, has been appointed chancellor at Penn State Brandywine effective Jan. 13, 2020.

Provost Wells is expecting to continue in her current roles until mid-January. A farewell reception in her honor will be held Jan. 8, 2020.

President Richard Davenport, in a press release, said, “I am happy for her new opportunity and have every confidence she will be successful in her new endeavor. I know that I speak for many campus and regional leaders in saying that we will miss Dr. Wells’ dedication and visionary leadership here at Minnesota State Mankato, one of Minnesota’s top universities.”

Wells has been serving in her roles at MNSU since July of 2013.

In her roles, she reports directly to the president, she also serves in the president’s cabinet and contributes in the management of the University.

She provided leadership for the University’s research enterprise, library services, global education, online education and institutional diversity and inclusion.

Among her achievements in the university, she helped develop the first-ever integrated academic master plan, a new undergraduate integrated advising model, curricular and learning innovations, new faculty and student research opportunities, increases in external grants and expansion of strategic partnerships.

During Wells tenure, the university has launched more than 30 new academic programs in six different colleges. She also played a key role in MNSU’s growth of students receiving prestigious national and international fellowships, growth in the University’s international educational exchanges and increased international student enrollment and development of an international affairs strategic plan as well as a diversity and inclusion plan for the University.

Since Davenport’s presidency in the University since 2002, Wells is the fourth member to become a university president or chancellor.

She has not only been active in the university but also in the community. Since moving to Mankato, she has been recognized by YWCA Mankato for her leadership and service, and serves on the Mayo Midwest Education Committee and on Greater Mankato Growth’s Talent Council and Education Policy Team.

Penn State Brandywine is located in Media, Pennsylvania. Wells is no stranger to Pennsylvania as prior to joining MNSU, one of the roles she served in was a senior administrative position with East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. She also received her bachelor’s degree in

home economics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degrees in both public health and health education from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

In her new endeavor, Wells will be succeeding former Penn State Brandywine’s Chancellor Kirstin Woolever. 

What attracted Wells to this role at Penn State Brandywine was their land-grant mission that focuses on providing access to affordable educational opportunities and partnering with community organizations and local businesses.

According to Davenport, the University will conduct a national search for its next permanent provost and senior vice president. 

He has appointed Dr. David Jones, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, and Dr. Gregg Marg, professor of biology and president of the Faculty Association, to serve as search co-chairs.

Davenport will appoint an interim provost to provide leadership and support for the Division of Academic Affairs during the search process.

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