Office of the Provost
Dr. Kimberly McCorkle named Provost, Senior Vice President for Academics
JOHNSON CITY – (May 5, 2021) Following an extensive national search, Kimberly D. McCorkle, J.D. has been named as the new Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics at East Tennessee State University. She will assume this role in July, succeeding Dr. Wilsie S. Bishop, who is retiring at the end of June following forty-three years of distinguished service to the university.
McCorkle comes to ETSU from the University of West Florida, where she has spent the past nineteen years and currently serves as Vice Provost and Professor. She was named Interim Vice Provost in 2017 and assumed the role on a permanent basis the following year.
“I am honored to join ETSU as Provost at such an important time in the university’s history,” McCorkle said. “As we move forward with our strategic visioning process, I am dedicated to supporting our outstanding faculty as we continue to focus on the mission of supporting student success while providing high quality academic programs and advancing our research contributions.”
As Vice Provost at UWF, McCorkle holds responsibility for academic program development and oversight, strategic planning efforts, faculty development, accreditation and institutional effectiveness, undergraduate research, student grievance processes, and compliance and policy review. In addition, she has served as the university’s SACSCOC liaison and has managed all institutional accreditation efforts.
“Since the mid-1990s, the role of ETSU’s chief academic officer has been held by only two people – Dr. Bert C. Bach and Dr. Wilsie Bishop – both of whom are legends in Tennessee higher education,” ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland said. “Now, a new era begins under the leadership of Kimberly McCorkle, and we are very fortunate to have her as part of our campus community, particularly with the level of expertise and experience she brings in program development, accreditation, student research and faculty development. She will be a tremendous asset to ETSU as the work of the Committee for 125 Chapter Two advances and new opportunities and initiatives for the institution are identified.”
Her recent major accomplishments include the implementation of ten new academic programs in areas of strategic emphasis as identified by the Florida Board of Governors, and leading university-wide efforts to implement a 2+2 articulation agreement with Pensacola State College. McCorkle assisted with UWF’s efforts to be recognized in the Florida State University System Performance Based Funding allocations in 2018 and 2019, and she led the collaborative effort to create the 2017-2022 UWF Academic Affairs Strategic Plan.
She spent seven years with the UWF College of Education and Professional Studies, including three years as associate dean and another three as an assistant dean. For fifteen years, McCorkle held a faculty appointment in criminal justice and legal studies, and, prior to moving to the Office of the Provost, served as Chair and Professor in the Department of Legal Studies, Public Administration, and Sport Management. While serving in college and departmental leadership roles, she continued to teach and act as faculty sponsor for the UWF Mock Trial Team, which she led for over fifteen years.
Notable awards and honors presented to McCorkle include the National Science Foundation UWF ADVANCE Faculty Scholar, Escambia County Domestic Violence Coalition Outstanding Service Award and the UWF Mary Rogers Outstanding Women’s Studies Faculty Award.
A noted criminal justice scholar, McCorkle is the author of the textbook, “American Homicide (2nd ed.),” published by SAGE Publications. Her research has been featured in such scholarly journals as The Journal of Higher Education Management, Homicide Studies, Southern Journal of Business and Ethics, Policing: An International Journal of Police Management and Strategies and American Journal of Criminal Justice.
“Kimberly McCorkle has made substantial contributions during her time at UWF and will be dearly missed,” said Dr. Martha Saunders, UWF President. “She is ready for the next step in her professional journey. I am confident she will be successful.”
Dr. Keith Johnson, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, and search committee chair said, “Kimberly was chosen from a major national search that yielded the names of many highly qualified applicants. Her deep respect for the role of the faculty and her passion for student success resonated with the committee immediately. She has an impressive record of success throughout her nineteen-year career at the University of West Florida.”
McCorkle is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where she earned a B.A. degree in English and was selected for Phi Beta Kappa. She later earned her J.D. degree from the University of Florida College of Law. Before joining UWF in a faculty role, she practiced criminal law as a prosecutor and defense attorney.
Dr. Wilsie Bishop to retire after 43-year career at ETSU
Dr. Wilsie Bishop, Senior Vice President for Academics and Interim Provost, announced that she will retire on June 30, 2021, after a 43-year career at East Tennessee State University.
Bishop came to ETSU as a temporary faculty member in the College of Nursing in 1978. Since that time, she earned tenure and progressed through the faculty ranks, serving in administrative roles including department chair, dean, and assistant/associate vice president prior to becoming a vice president in 2005. While serving in various administrative roles, she has continued to be a classroom teacher as well as a mentor for doctoral and graduate students.
“Nothing is more satisfying to me than to know that at the core of my administrative experiences I am a teacher who understands the responsibilities and challenges that the word ‘professor’ embodies,” Bishop said. “The value I place on the faculty role including teaching, research, and service has guided my decisions and actions these past 42 years.”
Throughout her career at ETSU, Bishop has observed and been a part of many important changes at the university. After 11 years of serving as Dean of the College of Public and Allied Health, Bishop was appointed Vice President for Administration and Chief Operating Officer of the university in 2005. This role took her out of the academic arena and into university operations when she assumed responsibility for Athletics, Facilities Planning, Human Resources, Information Technology, Public Safety and Student Affairs. However, her academic background provided a context for decision-making and communication with faculty and staff that was invaluable for me and in many ways for the university.
In 2007, she transitioned to Vice President for Health Affairs (VPHA), becoming the first non-physician to hold the VPHA title. In this position, she embraced and led the university’s Interprofessional Education (IPE) and the team-based care that it embodied as the future of quality health care delivery. Through the IPE initiative, ETSU not only created opportunities for shared classroom experiences, but was able to create a building where team-based learning is the priority and students can work and study together in preparation for their future careers as health care providers. The Interprofessional Education and Research Center (Building 60) is a physical symbol of vision becoming reality.
Dr. Bishop launches ETSU HealthBishop also oversaw the launch of the ETSU Health brand in 2019, which unified the educational, clinical and research pursuits of ETSU’s five health sciences colleges, more than 250 providers and 35 clinical sites.
In her most recent role as Senior Vice President for Academics and Interim Provost, Bishop built upon the work that now-retired Provost Dr. Bert Bach established to bring together under one management umbrella the academic affairs and health affairs of the colleges of the university.
“This challenge spoke to the need to value what each college brings to the identity of ETSU at the same time promoting what is unique about who we are,” Bishop said. “I have drawn upon my background in organizational theory to create an environment that incorporates the values of ETSU and empowers all those individuals who are part of our academic programs to step up and step forward toward creating a culture of excellence.”
Throughout her career at ETSU, Bishop has received numerous national, statewide, and university awards recognizing her work in higher education. In 2013, she was inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame. Most recently, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges awarded its highest honor to Bishop – the 2019 James T. Rogers Distinguished Leadership Award.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank Dr. Bishop for her service to the university,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. “Throughout the course of her career, she has made a defined difference at our institution.”
As she looks toward the last months of her time at ETSU, Bishop says she will remain focused on work still ahead.
“I will continue to work without ceasing for the remainder of my employment at ETSU as I realize there is still much yet to do,” Bishop said. “Next June, when I hand in my keys and walk away, I will leave the University with a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride, and a sense of anticipation for what this University will become and what it will continue to mean to the lives of the people of this region.”