Fresno State names William Covino provost/VP for Academic Affairs

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Fresno State names William Covino provost/VP for Academic Affairs

President John D. Welty has appointed Dr. William A. Covino, who has extensive academic and administrative experience, as the new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at California State University, Fresno, effective July 6, 2009.

Covino holds the same position at California State University, Stanislaus.

He was selected from a field of more than 30 candidates from throughout the country. He succeeds interim Provost Dr. Dennis Nef, who was appointed earlier this year to head the university’s academic programs after Provost Jeronima Echeverria left Fresno State to become the chief academic officer of the California State University system.

The provost, the university’s chief academic officer, serves as the senior administrator in the President’s absence. Covino will report to Welty and will become a member of his cabinet.

Covino’s responsibilities include overseeing the eight schools and colleges, more than 50 academic departments, Continuing and Global Education, grants and Contract administration, the Henry Madden Library and academic centers and institutes that report to Academic Affairs.

“I am pleased that Bill Covino accepted my invitation to join our campus administration,” said Welty. “His accomplishments at CSU Stanislaus and his familiarity with the California State University system will be important assets as we face unprecedented challenges in the coming years because of state budget reductions. His experience in Illinois and Florida will help us explore innovative ways to engage the university with this region.”

Covino has 27 years of higher-education experience as an English professor and administrator. Most of his career has been spent in large, urban, public universities, where he has devoted himself to revitalizing academic quality and institutional visibility during periods of growth and change within the constraints of public funding.

He became provost at CSU Stanislaus in August 2006 following eight years at Florida Atlantic University, where chaired the Department of English and was Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. He also has held faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago and San Diego State University.

Covino earned his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds M.A. degrees from CSU Northridge and the University of Southern California and earned a Ph.D. in English from USC in 1981.

His teaching has included courses on persuasion, imagination, rhetoric, literacy and literature, and his scholarly record includes numerous chapters, articles, and reviews.

He has written “The Art of Wondering: An Eccentric History of the Composing Imagination,” “Forms of Wondering: A Dialogue on Writing, for Writers,” “Magic, Rhetoric, and Literacy: An Eccentric History of the Composing Imagination,” “Rhetoric: Concepts, Definitions, Boundaries” (co-edited with David A. Jolliffe) and “The Elements of Persuasion.”

To read Covino’s CV, click here. (pdf)