Bradley University Provost Announces Retirement

Bradley University has announced Dr. Walter Zakahi will retire as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the end of this academic year. 

During his tenure at Bradley, Dr. Zakahi helped lead many groundbreaking university projects and initiatives, including a faculty salary adjustment in 2018, the development of Bradley’s Academic Success Center, and the growth of online education at the university. Dr. Zakahi was also instrumental in helping Bradley navigate the pandemic. He worked hard with his colleagues to make sure our students maintained a quality educational experience, even in the most challenging of environments.

Dr. Zakahi is a Bradley alumnus. He received his B.S in Speech Communication from the university in 1978 and was a member of the nationally recognized Speech Team.

“Walter has been an exceptional leader, an esteemed colleague, and has provided valuable counsel throughout his time at Bradley,” said Bradley President Stephen Standifird. “He dedicated the pinnacle of his career on giving back to his alma mater, and we are better for him having done so. I want to sincerely thank Walter for his good work and his dedication to the success of Bradley University. I wish him, his wife Catharine, and their family happiness and success as they enter this new exciting phase of life.”

Dr. Zakahi came to Bradley in 2016 from Keene State College in Keene, N.H., where he served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. He has also served as Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and held various positions including Associate Dean, Professor, and Director at New Mexico State University, West Virginia University and Rutgers University.

“Reflecting on my time at Bradley, I am filled with gratitude for the countless experiences, friendships, and memories that have enriched my tenure here,” said Dr. Zakahi. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve my alma mater, and work alongside so many talented individuals.”

In his retirement, Dr. Zakahi says he plans on spending time with his wife, his children and grandchildren, traveling, and hitting the golf course “when the opportunity arises.”

Dr. Christopher Jones, Bradley’s current Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, will serve as Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and will oversee both the Division of Academic Affairs and the Division of Strategy and Innovation.

During his ten years of service to Bradley University, Dr. Jones has been instrumental in the development of the university’s strategic plan, several new academic programs and experiential learning opportunities, and multiple partnerships.

Dr. Jones brings 18 consecutive years of full-time higher education leadership experience to the position, including six years as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He is a tenured professor and international relations specialist within the Department of Political Science. He begins this new expanded role June 1.

Dr. Walter Zakahi