Le Roy’s departure to spawn many changes at Whitworth

Executive Vice President and Provost Michael Le Roy has accepted the presidency at Calvin College. Le Roy will be leaving Whitworth shortly after graduation and heading to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected by the Board of Trustees for this opportunity to serve the Calvin College community,” Le Roy said in a press release. “I have long admired and appreciated Calvin’s Reformed Christian mission, its distinguished faculty, its engagement with the culture through the lens of faith, and its particular blend of intellectual curiosity and Christian conviction that prepares students to transform the world.”

Barbara Sanders has stepped into the position of senior associate provost until May 27 when Le Roy departs. During this time she is professionally shadowing and “cross training with Dr. Le Roy,” Sanders said.

On May 27, she will become the interim provost until the search is complete. To fill Le Roy’s position the university will go through a thorough national search, Sanders said.

“I think it will be a very smooth transition,” Sanders said.

Sanders, the associate dean of instruction and School of Education professor, was on sabbatical but was brought back to fill part of Le Roy’s position.

“[Le Roy] is the executive vice president, I would not be,” Sanders said.

“Barb is known across campus as a skilled academician, a wise and thoughtful administrator, and a strong advocate for students’ academic success,” President Beck Taylor said in a press release. “She is also a tireless champion of Whitworth’s distinctive mind-and-heart mission. I feel very confident about the leadership Barb will provide as the university searches for its next chief academic officer and continues to make significant progress toward its Whitworth 2021 strategic-plan goals.”

Le Roy’s departure will also affect other positions and people within Whitworth’s administration.

Beneath Sanders are two associate provosts, Randell Michaelis and newly appointed Kathy Storm.

Storm, former vice president of Student Life, applied for the position over a year ago. “Mine has been in the works for a while; my daughter said its was like Oprah’s two year farewell tour,” Storm said about her application and hiring.

Associate Dean of Students Richard Mandeville will replace Storm.

“It has been my honor and joy to work with Dick during my years in student life,” Storm said in a press release. “He is a wise, gracious and thoughtful colleague, a person of deep faith and steady conviction, and a professional who is wholeheartedly devoted to the growth and well-being of students. His skill and compassion, his winsome sense of humor and most of all his deep commitment to Whitworth’s mission make him a wonderful person to lead the student life program.”

“It’s kind of just a change in titles for the students, but I hope it is a positive one,” Sanders said.

Many individuals within the administration have said that they expect the transition to be a smooth one.

“Michael’s outstanding service as Whitworth’s chief academic officer has contributed significantly to the university’s rising academic quality and reputation,” Taylor said in a press release.

“The board of trustees is both blessed and honored to appoint Dr. Michael Le Roy to the position of President at Calvin,” Scott Spoelhof, chair of Calvin’s board of trustees, said in a press release. “He is a collaborative, visionary leader with proven academic, administrative, and scholarship skills who is committed to furthering the mission of Calvin. His commitment to reformed theology will serve our institution well as we not only interact with our existing constituencies, but also seek to engage the broader evangelical community.”

Story by Caitlyn Starkey Staff Writer

Contact Caitlyn Starkey at cstarkey14@my.whitworth.edu.

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