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Widener University Announces New Provost

Dr. Dale Scalise-Smith

Dr. Dale Scalise-Smith has been named the next provost of Widener University.

Widener University President Dr. Julie E. Wollman today announced the appointment of Dr. Dale Scalise-Smith as the next provost of the university.

Scalise-Smith, who currently serves as dean of the College of Health Professions at Northern Kentucky University, will begin her new position in August. As provost, Scalise-Smith will be the chief academic officer across the university, which encompasses programs on the main campus in Chester, Pa., Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, Pa., and Delaware Law School in Wilmington, Del. She will be a central figure in implementing the university’s strategic plan, and play a key role in Widener’s continued evolution as a vibrant, thriving university that delivers high-quality academic programs across a diverse range of fields and platforms.

As a dean at Northern Kentucky University, Scalise-Smith has served as the chief academic, financial and strategic operations administrator of the College of Health Professions since 2015. Prior to that, she spent nearly 20 years at Utica College in central New York, where she started as chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. She moved up to serve as dean of the School of Health Professions and Education, followed by vice president of external programs and partnerships, and finally vice president of the School for Online & Extended Studies and External Partnerships. She began her academic career at Temple University in 1992 after spending 11 years working in physical therapy.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Scalise-Smith to Widener,” Wollman said. “Throughout her career she has been recognized as a strong and tireless team player, and a leader in her field and in the community. She has served in vital capacities at her previous institutions and is seen as someone who leads by example with hard work, passion and transparency. I know Widener will continue to achieve the highest levels of academic excellence, with the success of our students as the top priority, under her leadership.”

“It is an honor to join President Wollman and the Widener University administration,” Scalise-Smith said. “Widener’s commitment to high quality academic programs and learning experiences, taught by dedicated and caring faculty, aligns with my strong commitment and support for academic excellence and student success. I look forward to serving the students, faculty and administrators as we build on the university’s vision for transformative learning and continued success as a school of first choice.”

Scalise-Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University, a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina and a doctor of physical therapy degree from Utica College. She and her husband, Christopher, have three children and two grandchildren.

Her appointment fills the vacancy created by the departure of Dr. Stephen Wilhite, who announced in February he would step down as provost to return to the faculty.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Visit the university website,