August 7, 2018
John Omachonu will join Mars Hill University as provost, effective August 13, 2018. He will be the chief academic officer for all academic and student development programs and report directly to the president. University President Tony Floyd said, “I believe that he will be a great partner in our quest to continue to strengthen the academic core of our university and will be able to lead us forward as we seek to explore and innovate in academics.”
“Being selected as provost at Mars Hill University is a great honor — one that will remain memorable to me for a long time,” Omachonu said. “Mars Hill University is an institution that sincerely cares about student success. President Floyd has already set a 21st-century agenda for the university and I look forward to working with him and the leadership team to do great things for the students and the community of Mars Hill.”
Omachonu was selected from a field of candidates that had been narrowed to four finalists. “First and foremost, Dr. Omachonu was very much at ease interacting with our faculty, staff, and the leadership team,” said President Floyd. “He brings incredible academic credentials but yet was very humble. Those are traits that I believe the Mars Hill University community will embrace.”
Omachonu is a proponent of the liberal arts, crediting his own liberal arts education with instilling in him a broad knowledge of the world, good interpersonal skills, adaptability, and a passion for lifelong learning. As academic institutions face challenges on connecting degree offerings with employability, Omachonu sees opportunities for universities like Mars Hill to become more proactive and intentional in their focus on student success.
Omachonu has extensive experience in higher education administration, serving most recently as senior vice provost for academic affairs and professor of communications at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Before that, he was vice provost for academic affairs and chief diversity officer at Middle Tennessee State University, where he held increasingly senior faculty administrative positions over eleven years. Earlier in his career he served at William Paterson University, Fort Valley State University, Florida A&M University, Bethune-Cookman University, and Howard University. He received his own education at Howard, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology/zoology, a master’s degree in mass communication, and a Ph.D. degree in mass communication.