SUU Provost Dr. Jon Anderson Named President of PennWest University

Published: May 22, 2024 | Read Time: 3 minutes

The Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education today unanimously selected Dr. Jon Anderson to serve as the next President of Pennsylvania Western University. His appointment to PennWest’s top leadership role takes effect July 1, 2024.

Jon Anderson

Since joining Southern Utah University as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in May 2020, Anderson has made significant contributions to the institution. One of his first major responsibilities was chairing the COVID-19 task force, leading SUU's efforts to navigate the pandemic and safely bring students back to campus in the fall of 2020. During his tenure, he established two new colleges and implemented a college-based strategy focused on student retention.

Anderson was also involved in the interview and hiring process for more than 120 full-time faculty members and played a key role in developing roughly 100 new academic programs including the university's first doctoral program, the Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. Beyond his administrative duties, he enriched the academic community by teaching undergraduate and MBA courses in business strategy.

“I am humbled and honored to have worked at such a remarkable institution. SUU is a very special place that my family and I will always be grateful for,” said Anderson. “I appreciate the dedicated faculty and staff I’ve had the privilege of working with these past four years. We’ve worked hard to establish a shared vision, and I know the remarkable team in academic affairs will continue the great work that is underway. The lessons I’ve learned from my time here will help shape my leadership approach and exciting new opportunities that lie ahead at PennWest.”

"On behalf of the entire university, I extend my deepest gratitude to Provost Jon Anderson for his remarkable leadership and dedication to enhancing SUU’s quality academic programming,” said SUU President Mindy Benson. “Jon’s insight and guidance has been instrumental in shaping the future of our institution. Through his tireless and comprehensive work, we were able to complete and finalize SUU’s strategic plan, which is grounded in SUU’s core principles of being people-centered, purpose-driven, and place-empowered. In addition to leading this effort, Jon's numerous contributions and strategic oversight have greatly enhanced our institution. While we are saddened to see Jon and his family leave, we are immensely proud of this announcement and Jon’s next chapter as President of PennWest.”

Prior to Anderson’s current position, he was the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Middle Georgia where he oversaw the integration of academic and support services across five campuses, each with a distinct culture and focus, and strengthened its online division. Anderson has previously filled the roles of deputy provost, associate vice president of academic affairs, accreditation liaison, associate dean, and director of the MBA program at the University of West Georgia. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration: Management from the University of Kentucky, a Master's in Business Education from what is now the University of West Georgia, and a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Utah State University.

As SUU’s Provost, Anderson oversaw university matters that affected academic programs, scholarly and creative efforts, and outreach involving faculty, students and staff. He provided leadership for academic quality, academic appointments, tenure and promotion, as well as fostering a positive learning environment.

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Nikki Koontz