Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor will alter its administrative structure in order to take a more cohesive approach to the spectrum of student success, the Office of the President announced today.

Effective Jan. 1, Dr. William Cario will step into the new role of Provost and Chief Academic Officer, and will lead the university’s academics and admissions efforts. Cario has helmed the Ann Arbor campus’ academics success since its merge with the Mequon campus in 2013, but with the provost position creation he will now assume responsibility for the whole range of student experience.

“I am excited about this opportunity to develop a more seamless approach to student experience,” Cario said. “Students can expect to be challenged in the classroom, but they shouldn’t have to be challenged signing up for the class. This is the type of concern we hope to improve upon with the new model.”

Serving under Cario will be three vice provosts, and Concordia has promoted three current employees to the new roles.

Dr. Michael Uden will vacate his position as Dean of CUW’s School of Education—a position he has held since 2008—to accept the role of Vice Provost of Student Enrollment and Engagement. In his new role, Uden will have two primary responsibilities: to oversee the admissions process across the university, tying it into other processes; and to develop and implement a vision for a seamless student experience from prospective students to alumni. CUAA Director of Enrollment Services Chance Childers will report to Uden.

“I am most humbled and eager for the opportunity to serve Concordia in this new capacity,” Uden said. “It will be phenomenally exciting to learn and collaborate with such a talented and dedicated team in order to understand and fulfill the needs and expectations of Concordians, both new and existing. The mission of this university is more relevant than ever, and it is a privilege to be Christ’s ambassadors in this place.”

Serving as Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs will be Dr. Leah Dvorak, who has served as Assistant Vice President of Academics under Cario since 2011. The new role will add responsibilities pertaining to faculty affairs to her plate. Currently, she solely manages faculty development.

Rounding out the vice provost trio is Dr. Bernard Bull, who has led Concordia’s online, distance, and center programs since 2011. As Vice Provost of Curriculum and Academic Innovation, Bull will lead the university’s teaching efforts and will coordinate with the campus’ academic deans to ensure students are met with high-quality, mission-driven learning experiences and academic programs.

A search for a new dean for the CUW School of Education will be underway soon. University administrators hope to have an interim dean in place by Jan. 1 and a permanent replacement hired by July 1.

Over the summer, University President Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, PhD, charged a task force be formed to evaluate the governance structure of the university. Soon after, a group of Concordia employees began meeting to research best practices of other universities and strategize a feasible structure.

“As a university, we continuously strive to respond with deftness and flexibility to the present and anticipated future challenges within the higher education landscape,” Ferry said. “Challenges such as changing demographics and the national debt concern among college graduates cause us to diligently assess our offerings in order to meet the needs of today’s learners. I’m confident that with the refocused leadership of Dr. Bill Cario and his team, we will make strides towards achieving a better model to serve our students.”

— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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