Wright State’s new No. 2 to earn $305K per year

Wright State University’s next provost will be Susan Edwards, an administrator at Appalachian State University.

Edwards will join WSU on July 30, succeeding Tom Sudkamp who has been provost since 2015, according to the university. The provost position is considered the top academic job at most colleges and often is thought to be the No. 2 spot to a school’s presidency.

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As provost, Edwards will receive a base salary of $305,000, according to a job offer letter. WSU president Cheryl Schrader —who started last July— has a base salary of $425,000 per year.

Edwards will also receive up to $30,500 to move from Boone, North Carolina to the Dayton area and she is eligible for a performance-based bonus of up to $15,250, the letter states.

Along with being named provost, Edwards will also become a professor in the university’s department of biological sciences.

Edwards became vice provost at Appalachian State in 2015 and first started there in 2007. She has held a number of professor roles and also served as the chairwoman of the Appalachian State’s department of biology from 2012 to 2015, according to Wright State. She previously worked at Georgia Southern University and Cook University in Cairns, Australia.

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“She has worked at a variety of institutions, including a world-class global research university and Appalachian State, which is committed to student success and student-centered research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” Schrader said.

Edwards received a doctorate in comparative physiology from Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, a master’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Melbourne and her bachelor’s degree in biology from Deakin.

Edwards was selected as provost after a four-month national search that included a pool of around 50 candidates, according to Wright State. Two finalists for the WSU provost job withdrew at the last minute.

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Edwards takes the Wright State job as the university continues to deal with its ongoing budget crisis. The WSU board of trustees slashed more than $30.8 million from the school’s budget a year ago and the administration is trying to save another $10 million by June 30 this year.

The high-profile hire is Schrader’s second since becoming Wright State’s president.

Last year Schrader hired Walt Branson as chief business officer from her former institution, the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Like Edwards, Branson also receives a base salary of $305,000 per year, according to his contract.


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