San Diego State University has named Chukuka S. Enwemeka as its next provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, the senior academic administrator at the university. Currently distinguished professor and Dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Enwemeka will begin as SDSU provost on July 1, succeeding Nancy Marlin, who is stepping down from the role.
“I am delighted by this opportunity to serve as the chief academic leader of a university known for its esteemed community of outstanding students, innovative teacher-scholars and dedicated staff,” Enwemeka said. “I look forward to working closely with President Hirshman and the leadership team to elevate the national and international profile of SDSU to the next level.”
Enwemeka has more than 20 years of academic leadership experience, including 11 years as tenured professor and dean at UWM and New York Institute of Technology and 10 years as tenured professor and chairperson at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Enwemeka to the San Diego State University community,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “His experience in supporting student success, research and creative endeavors and community engagement distinguished him in a strong pool of national candidates.”
As the chief academic officer of the university, the provost provides the leadership required to achieve the highest standards in teaching, scholarship, creative activities and service. The provost is a key participant in all major university policy, establishing, coordinating and implementing academic goals, educational policy, curriculum planning and development, program review, funding support, resource allocation and personnel actions pertaining to faculty and academic staff.
Enwemeka’s past experience also includes:
- Associate professor of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, and associate director of physical therapy, University of Miami School of Medicine
- Joint appointment as assistant professor of physical therapy, cellular and structural biology, and physiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
He earned his BS and MS degrees from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and the University of Southern California, respectively and earned his Ph.D. from New York University before undertaking post-doctoral research training at NYU’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.
Enwemeka has authored more than 90 original research papers, monographs, and book chapters, and has secured millions of dollars in external grant funding.
He is one of the foremost authorities in the use of lasers and monochromatic light for therapeutic purposes. He was the first to show that red and near infrared light, emitted by lasers and monochromatic LEDs, promotes collagen polymerization and alignment. In pioneering studies, he and his team recently demonstrated—for the first time—that certain wavelengths of LED blue light kill the deadly Methycillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); suggesting that blue light is a viable alternative to antibiotics, to which some bacteria have become resistant.