MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University Provost Michele Wheatly is leaving the post after five years and her replacement will be WVU College of Law Dean Joyce McConnell. University President E. Gordon Gee announced the changes Tuesday.

Gee said Dr. Wheatly, who was hired by former WVU President Jim Clements, gave “extraordinary service” to WVU. The work included the 2020 strategic planning process and reaccreditation efforts.


WVU College of Law Dean Joyce McConnell will become the university’s chief academic officer next month.

“I have great respect for Michele and wish her all the best as she continues her contributions to—and leadership in – higher education,” Gee said of Wheatly.

A university news release didn’t specify a reason for Wheatly leaving the post or where she would be going. The change will take place July 1.

Gee decided to appoint Law School Dean McConnell without a search. He said she is the “right person at the right time.”

“She also understands the bold vision of a major land-grant university and its primary mission to serve our state and its citizens. Her commitment to this University and to West Virginia is evident; it’s truly a passion,” Gee said.

McConnell said she was surprised and honored by the appointment. She’s been dean for six years.

Professor Gregory Bowman has been named interim dean at the College of Law. A national search will take place for a permanent dean.

bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Mike

    In Gee I trust. Luck, not so much.

  • Ricky

    ?? How was Heather Bresch passed over for this?

    • JoAnn

      Oh, I think Gayle Manchin would have been perfect for the job.

    • Wowbagger

      She already has a better job.

      • Mary

        She may think so!!

  • DWM

    Greg Bowman is not just a professor in the law school he is also an Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

  • R U Keeding

    Doubt it. Nothing coming out of he who shall not be named's back pocket.

  • Chef Camille

    What no Goodwin was available? Where is Booth?

    • MyView

      You mean there wasn't any Manchins available

  • Fl

    Doesn't the law require that the job be posted?

    • sammy

      WVU is above the law. They do not have to follow legal protocol. They run the entire state of WV. Or at least they think they do. That is why WV is in such terrible shape.

    • Guardian

      Provost is the senior leadership position at the university behind the president and ahead of the vice presidents. It is an "at will" position and does not have to be posted. Nor, for that matter, do any of the senior leadership positions.

      • sammy

        Well, that is good news. Now Gee can appoint Charles Bayless to the provost position and Charlie can move WVU to the Dow in South Charleston!

        • hurr durr

          It will be posted though. Once the position ad is crafted and approved by all the relevant and required parties who approve them. If you care so much (you don't) you should keep an eye on and the Chronicle of Higher Education, where the ad will likely be posted.

          • hurr durr

            At least for the Law School dean. Provost doesn't have to be a national search.

        • JoAnn


  • Aaron

    I wonder I'd we see public outrage and letters to the President from those that shall not be named?

    • Anna

      For what???? Move on.
      This is a positive move for WVU.