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Meet the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Ross Wastvedt was named Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Southwest Minnesota State University effective July 1, 2020. Dr. Wastvedt acts as the senior academic officer and serves as the institutional leader in the president’s absence. He oversees the work of the Academic Deans, the Dean of Students/Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, the Director of the Deann Griebel Student Success Center, and the Registrar.

Dr. Wastvedt is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, where he received his bachelor’s degree in English. He earned his master’s degree and doctorate in English from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and was the first recipient of the Doris Betts Award for Teaching Excellence.

Before joining SMSU, he served as Dean of Humanities and Education, Acting Dean of Social and Natural Sciences, and Professor of English at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. During his seven years at Grand View, he oversaw development of new academic programs and led key initiatives to strengthen student success, including co-chairing a Student Success Visioning Team and separate task forces to improve advising and to establish a consolidated learning center. He also served on the board of Gear Up Iowa, whose mission it is to increase participation in higher education by traditionally underserved groups of students.

Prior to his work at Grand View, he was Professor of English at Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. He held a number of other positions there, including serving as Chair of the Department of English and Public Relations, Chair of the Faculty, and Director of the First-Year Experience. He also gained extensive experience overseeing accreditation while at Westminster and now serves as a member of the Peer Review Corps for the Higher Learning Commission.

Provost Wastvedt values the SMSU commitment to student support and student success. He provides collaborative leadership to advance this work and to enhance academic programs.

Provost Wastvedt and his wife, Sonja, who is a Reading Specialist certified in ELL, are the parents of three grown children: Trygve, who works for the digital design firm Autodesk and lives with his wife and daughter in Maplewood, Minnesota; Bjorn, who recently completed his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Arizona and teaches in Norway; and Solvejg, who is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Biostatistics at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Ross Wastvedt

Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

Last Modified: 9/22/22 4:36 PM | Website Feedback