Fred Akl, PhD, PE
As the university's chief academic officer, the provost is responsible for working collaboratively with the associate provosts, school deans, faculty, staff, and administrators to achieve the institution’s academic priorities. The provost also has direct responsibility for all academic support units and works closely with the president, chief financial officer, and academic leaders allocating financial resources to address Widener’s academic and financial health.
Dr. Fred Akl was appointed provost of Widener University in January 2018. Dr. Akl came to Widener as dean of the School of Engineering and professor of civil engineering in 1998. Over the past 20 years he has earned the respect of his colleagues as a leader and is an unrelenting advocate for faculty and for student success.
During his leadership of the School of Engineering, enrollment has more than doubled, innovative new programs have been launched, community engagement projects and experiential learning have increased significantly, student leadership development has been a focus, and faculty grant-seeking and nationally-recognized scholarship have expanded considerably. Programs for high school students have been implemented to encourage the pursuit of STEM majors and careers and to increase the number of females in engineering, and he has been a strong ambassador for the university in increasing international student enrollment, most recently helping to build our successful relationship with schools in Greece.
Dr. Akl’s engagement in the community includes serving on the boards of the 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education, i2N Economic Development Organization, Crozer-Keystone Health System, Keystone Innovation Zone, and other organizations.
Prior to joining Widener, Fred served various faculty and administrative positions at Louisiana Tech University, Ohio University, California Polytechnic State University, and Cairo University. He is a leader in his field and has worked as a consultant for NASA as well as other governmental and industry sectors.
He is a graduate of Cairo University with a B.S. in civil engineering, Delft University of Technology with a graduate certificate, and The University of Calgary with MS and PhD degrees in civil engineering. He also has a certificate of management and leadership in education from Harvard University.