Dr. Jill Drake named Georgia Southwestern provost and vice president of Academic Affairs

Published 2:27 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

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By Chelsea Collins


AMERICUS – Jill Drake, Ed.D., has been named provost and vice president of Academic Affairs (VPAA) at Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) after serving as interim for just over a month. She will begin her full-time duties on July 1.

“I am sincerely grateful and profoundly honored to have been chosen to serve as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Georgia Southwestern,” said Drake. “I enthusiastically embrace this crucial role, fully aware of the significant responsibility entrusted to me in nurturing a community that thrives through growth, innovation, and collaboration. I firmly believe that, collectively, we can build an outstanding academic community where both students and faculty can flourish, making a lasting and positive impact.”

Prior to joining GSW as interim provost, Drake served as the associate vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of West Georgia (UWG) in Carrollton.

Drake has 23 years of experience in higher education with ten years in both public and private educational settings. She holds faculty rank at UWG as a tenured, full professor in the College of Education. She received her Doctorate of Education from the University of Georgia in 1999. She also holds an Education Specialist degree, a Master of Science degree, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University.

An accomplished academic, Drake has published eight books, facilitated more than 100 professional development sessions, and has served as the Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on more than $1.65 million in sponsored projects. She was also named a USG Executive Leadership Institute Scholar in 2021 and a Governor’s Teaching Fellow in 2003. Drake’s commitment to service was recognized in 2014 when she earned the College of Education’s Service Award for creating the only K-5 mathematics tutoring clinic in the University System of Georgia.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Drake to Georgia Southwestern,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “Her time on campus serving as interim has certainly proven she’s qualified for the role and has an understanding of GSW’s mission and core values. I’m confident in her ability to advance GSW’s institutional priorities and academic mission. We look forward to working with Dr. Drake to bring new ideas and innovations to our academic community and implementing GSW’s new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) later this year.”

Higher Education Leadership Search led the national search efforts, along with an 11-person committee from GSW chaired by Laura Boren, Ph.D., GSW’s executive vice president for Student Engagement and Success.

“I want to thank all the candidates for their interest in the position and the search committee for dedicating their time and expertise in selecting the ideal candidate,” Weaver said.

For a list of final candidates and committee members, visit www.gsw.edu/provostsearch.