LOUISVILLE–Shirley C. Willihnganz, a University of Louisville communications professor who has held several administrative positions, will serve as acting provost during U of L’s search for a new president.

    As acting provost, Willihnganz will oversee the university’s deans and academic units, according to Provost Carol Garrison, who announced the June 16 appointment. Garrison will serve as acting president during the search.

    “Dr. Willihnganz brings extensive experience and knowledge of the university as a respected faculty member, administrator and advocate for students,” Garrison said. “She values academic quality and is known across campus for her ability to bring people together to make things happen. I’m confident she’ll continue our progress building and maintaining strong academic programs that meet student needs.”

    Willihnganz said she looks forward to working with Garrison and the university’s deans.

    “We have talented and committed academic leaders across campus, and there are many exciting developments under way in our schools and departments,” she said. “I’m pleased and honored to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Garrison and the deans to continue our momentum.”

    Willihnganz joined the university’s Department of Communication in 1985 and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in public speaking, organizational communication, public relations and other subjects. She served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1996 to 1999, acting dean of the college in 1999-2000, and chair of the communication department in 2001-2002.

    She received the American Communication Association’s Theodore Cleavenger Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1999 and has published a number of articles on communication-related issues. She holds a doctor of philosophy degree degree in speech communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wayne State University.

    John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.