Provost Renee White to use social justice in her administrative role on campus

Provost Renee White. Credit:

Renee White, the new Provost at Wheaton, has an office that looks out at the Dimple. She’s been working in higher education for her entire professional career. After majoring in and acquiring a Ph.D. in Sociology, she found herself using her background in research and academia helpful as she approached a more administrative role.

Being at Wheaton for only a few months, White is still unpacking, but she has big plans. “My goal for this year is to support the projects that are already underway and also identify a couple of areas we can expand initiatives, ” she said.

Starting with a community dialogue, she utilizes her sociological background in social justice and inequality to put together comprehensive discussions. “We want communities coming together with difficult questions and having some faith in that process that what will surface will help direct where we want to go as a campus.”

For the most part, White is the chief academic officer for the college, and she manages offices like Global Ed, the Marshall Center, and the Office of Registrar. By managing all of these elements of the college, she hopes to use her position to expand upon Wheaton’s strengths.

Ultimately, her goal is to make Wheaton the gold standard when it comes to liberal arts colleges. In White’s eyes, Wheaton has a solid foundation that she can help build upon.

“Wheaton is intellectually well-rounded and becoming rationally ready and having an inclusive view of the world. I saw all that here. And it was really a matter of ‘okay so where do we need to go as a community.’”

She particularly sees the small liberal arts environment that Wheaton offers as an excellent start for these dialogues.

“Part of what’s so interesting and exciting about being here is that we are in a community and environment that is receptive to that kind of work. It was really kind of talking with different colleagues including President Hanno about how do we respond to what students are looking for and what do we need to be thinking about as a community.”