Sue Day-Perroots will retire from West Virginia University effective August 1, wrapping up a 34-year career at the university marked by bold vision and a commitment to innovations in teaching and learning.
“The trajectory of Sue’s career is remarkable, as is her passion for providing access to exceptional undergraduate education,” Provost Joyce McConnell said. “Time and again, over the course of a remarkable journey here at WVU, Sue has demonstrated the power of creative problem-solving and visionary thinking.”
Day-Perroots joined the University in 1983 to coordinate student teacher field placements and teach English and language arts education courses in what was then the College of Human Resources and Education, now the College of Education and Human Services. In 1988, she was awarded one of seven Annenberg/Corporation for Public Broadcasting grants to launch Bridging the Gap, a statewide program delivering undergraduate courses via satellite uplinks.
Day-Perroots’ interest in and commitment to access to higher education led her to the role of director of Extended Learning in 1993. (This unit was reconfigured in 2015 as Online Learning and Continuing Professional Education.) There she expanded programs off-campus and pioneered online courses at the university. In 2001, she was named dean of Extended Learning and developed a successful entrepreneurial model for both off-campus and online delivery and summer sessions. This model brought in significant revenue while also enabling thousands of place-bound adults to earn WVU degrees. Day-Perroots was awarded the prestigious American Distance Education Consortium Irving Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2012.
“The land-grant mission has always resonated with my commitment to educational access,” said Day-Perroots. “Technology and the changing landscape of education have allowed us to fulfill that mission with a higher quality and greater scope than previously imagined.”
In keeping with her commitment to the university’s land grant mission, Day-Perroots envisioned an even more comprehensive unit to serve students and faculty in creative ways. In 2013, she was named associate vice president for academic innovation, a new role that encompassed the innovative programming she had developed, including statewide outreach to students in kindergarten through grade 12 and a centralized resource for all WVU teachers. This unit, the Teaching and Learning Commons, has its roots in learning pedagogy and has expanded to offer instructional and media design; faculty development; a community for research and scholarship on teaching and learning; and academic quality assurance and assessment.
And Day-Perroots was not done yet. In 2015, she was appointed associate provost for undergraduate education. During her tenure she hired Joseph Seiaman, formerly of the College of Business and Economics, as WVU’s first dean of completion and realigned multiple units to focus on student retention and program assessment.
At President Gee’s urging, she and her team designed a new WVU 191 Orientation class that builds upon experiential learning, collegiate success and discipline-based programs. In 2016, Day-Perroots instituted a major-mapping program that synthesizes academic coursework, career planning and student engagement to create a quality undergraduate experience and provide a dynamic structure for the university’s Project 168 initiative.
Most recently, she teamed with the university’s TRiO programs to create a living and learning community for first-generation students. She is currently leading efforts to harmonize courses across WVU’s Morgantown campus, Potomac State College and the West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
"West Virginia University is a better institution because of Sue Day-Perroots and the work she has done for our students," President Gordon Gee said. “I know she will continue to generate exciting new ideas and programs even as she plans for retirement. Sue will leave behind a legacy of excellence and energy that truly cannot be matched.”
The Office of the Provost is conducting a confidential internal search for a new associate provost for undergraduate education. The position description is posted here and applications are due April 3.
McConnell said that keeping the search internal will ensure that the new associate provost truly understands the university and its students. “This is a critical position in academic leadership,” she said. “We need someone who can hit the ground running, who has a deep expertise in the many processes, programs and systems that we have in place to serve our undergraduates. We know that we have tremendously dedicated and talented individuals across our institution who can absolutely take on this role and help us move forward.”
She also emphasized the confidential nature of this search: candidates’ names will not be released so that individuals can feel comfortable applying without worrying about creating anxiety in their existing units.
The Office of the Provost anticipates naming a new associate provost for undergraduate education before the end of this semester. The new associate provost would work alongside Day-Perroots and her team over the summer before taking over officially on August 1.
CONTACT: John Campbell, Vice Provost;
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