Sunil Ahuja, Ph.D., has been appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Shawnee State University effective July 1, 2020, President Jeff Bauer announced. Dr. Ahuja will also hold the academic rank of Professor of Political Science with tenure in the Department of Social Sciences at SSU.
The appointment followed a nationwide search this spring in preparation for the retirement of former Provost Becky Thiel.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Shawnee State University. This is a terrific leadership position, one which I hope will provide opportunities to do many good things for the students, the University, and the community,” Dr. Ahuja said. “I am looking forward to working with President Bauer and faculty, students and staff to lead academic and student affairs at the University to fulfill the mission and vision of Shawnee State.”
Dr. Ahuja joins the University at an important time. President Bauer announced last week that Shawnee State intends and is preparing for classes to be scheduled on campus in the fall with new processes and policies to protect everyone’s health. Dr. Ahuja said students’ and employees’ safety is the top priority. “We are planning the fall course offerings using a range of approaches which will always place everyone’s safety first, in line with state and local health departments’ recommendations,” he said.
“This is a truly unprecedented moment in higher education, and perhaps a defining one. Assuming such an important leadership role at this time is both an incredible opportunity and a unique challenge,” Dr. Ahuja noted. “I look forward to contributing to all the good work being done at Shawnee State and to help shape the future of the institution.”
Dr. Ahuja comes to Shawnee State from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania where he served as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. He previously served as Vice President for Accreditation Relations, Institutional Change and Research at the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago. He also held academic leadership positions at Lorain County Community College, Elyria, Ohio and at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio.
Dr. Ahuja has been an Ohio Academic Leadership Academy (OALA) Fellow and an American Council on Education (ACE), Fellow. He recently participated in the Becoming a Provost Academy, sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI).
Dr. Ahuja earned his doctorate and master’s degree in Political Science from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a bachelor of science in Government from Northwest Missouri State University. He has published nine books on American legislative politics and congressional elections and taught widely in the field of American government. His primary research interests are in legislative politics with a focus on American political institutions and non-U.S. legislatures.
Dr. Ahuja and his wife, Dr. Julia Spiker, who is a Professor of Communication at The University of Akron, are looking forward to enjoying the Portsmouth area.