Grand Canyon University didn’t have to look far to find its new Provost, promoting Colangelo College of Business (CCOB) Dean Dr. Randy Gibb to the position once Dr. Hank Radda retires on July 15.
Gibb, a former Air Force Colonel and command pilot who also held academic leadership roles at the US Air Force Academy and Arizona State University, has overseen the GCU business college for the past eight years. During that time, CCOB has more than tripled its traditional campus enrollment (from 1,900 to more than 6,000), launched a major business incubation center that hires GCU’s students, debuted a new hospitality program centered around the GCU Hotel, created a pathway for students in financial services to complete the Securities Industry Essentials exam while still in school through the new Charles Schwab Foundation Finance Center, and fostered a student-focused entrepreneurial mindset that – like the University itself – emphasizes the ideals of free enterprise and using business as a servant leadership ministry to help others.
“Dr. Gibb very much fits the mold of Dr. Radda in that he is accomplished academically but also understands the operational part to be able to build on what Hank has done,” said GCU President Brian Mueller. “A big part of that comes from his military background and his ability to lead a team. That is evident in everything he has accomplished as dean of one of the fastest-growing business colleges in the country.”
Radda is retiring after 12 years as GCU’s chief academic officer, overseeing a remarkable time period in which:
• The number of academic programs, degrees and certificates at GCU tripled to almost 300.
• Academic programs in high-growth job fields such as engineering, computer science, information technology and cybersecurity were added.
• The University successfully completed a flurry of regional and programmatic accreditations.
• An Honors College was created that now numbers 2,800 students, with incoming grade point averages of 4.1, from throughout the world.
• GCU became a leader in online innovation and assessing learning outcomes for students.
“It’s been incredible,” Radda said of his time at GCU. “When you look back on everything we’ve accomplished with the great team we have here, we’ve done it by thinking about education not only as the development of the person intellectually but also their character and who they are as people, supporting their growth and development from a Christian perspective. That’s not being done in a lot of places.”
In addition to naming Gibb the new Provost, GCU also chose Dr. Jennifer Lech as its Vice Provost. In her 18 years at GCU, Lech has been instrumental in nearly every aspect of academic affairs. She built the Curriculum Design and Development Department and also has overseen Academic Web Services, Office of Assessment, Institutional Research, Library, Faculty Services, Academic Compliance, State Compliance, Accreditation, Office of Academic Records, Resolution Office, Title IX, Student Disability Services, Proctoring Center and the LOPES program.
“Dr. Lech has built excellence into what GCU does academically and operationally, but at a scale with systems and processes that many universities are not able to achieve,” Mueller said. “She brings an organizational capacity to literally every aspect of what we do from an admissions perspective to accreditation to state compliance. She is also responsible for creating student teaching opportunities, internships and clinical placements in all 50 states, giving our students real-world experience to help them succeed.”