Vice Provost Blannie Bowen to retire from position leading academic affairs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Blannie E. Bowen, Penn State’s vice provost for academic affairs, is retiring on June 30, after nearly 30 years in leadership positions with the University.

As vice provost for academic affairs since July 2004, Bowen worked directly with college deans, campus chancellors, other administrators, faculty, and Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones on faculty development and evaluation; leadership development; promotion and tenure; and executive searches and reviews. He served as a liaison between faculty and University leadership.

“Blannie has continuously shown incredible insight into the academic needs and direction of our University’s colleges, faculty and students,” Jones said. “The guidance and vision he has provided the University in his time both as vice provost and before that, have proven insightful at a time of significant change in education and its delivery. We’re grateful for everything Blannie has done for the University. While I wish him the best in the next chapter of his life, he will be missed.”

Bowen has served as the liaison to the Big Ten Academic Alliance and to the University Faculty Senate. As a member of Penn State’s President’s Council and the Academic Leadership Council, Bowen has been directly involved in administrative decisions that impact the University’s academic and curricular affairs.

In 2016, Bowen was appointed to the Pennsylvania College of Technology board of directors. He is recognized for his leadership in agricultural education and communications, and diversity in higher education.

“I have enjoyed my time immensely working with individuals who are passionate about Penn State and the educational opportunities the University provides,” Bowen said. “The achievements of our faculty, students and staff continue to impress me, and have been what have made this position and all of my time at Penn State so rewarding.”

Before becoming vice provost, Bowen held several leadership positions at the University, including with the College of Agricultural Sciences. He joined Penn State as the C. Lee Rumberger and Family Chair of Agriculture in 1988. After two years in that position, he was appointed interim head of the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education. He served as undergraduate programs coordinator in the department from 1992 to 1996.

In 1996, Bowen became associate dean for graduate programs and senior faculty mentor in Penn State’s Graduate School. In 1998, he was named head of the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education.

Bowen also has been active in the community during his time at Penn State. A member of the Albright-Bethune United Methodist Church in State College, Bowen has served as editor of the church newsletter for 24 years as well as an assistant lay leader. He was a volunteer Little League coach and YMCA basketball coach for many years.

Before joining Penn State, Bowen was an assistant and associate professor at Mississippi State University and then an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Education at Ohio State. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural education from North Carolina A&T State University and his doctorate from Ohio State University, also in agricultural education.

In 2009, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Alumni Society of the Ohio State University.

A national search to fill Bowen’s position will begin in the very near future. 

Last Updated February 21, 2017