Indiana State University Newsroom

Dr. Christopher Olsen appointed Interim Provost of Indiana State University

January 6, 2021

Dr. Christopher Olsen, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2016, has been appointed Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Indiana State University.

Olsen will replace Dr. Mike Licari, who was selected last month to become President of Austin Peay State University. Olsen and Licari start their new positions March 1. A national search for the new Provost will be undertaken in academic year 2021-22.

Olsen has been an ISU professor since 1999. He was Chair of the Department of History from 2002 to 2016, when he became Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Dr. Olsen is an accomplished scholar and administrator who is dedicated to ISU’s mission,” ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis said. “I look forward to working with Dr. Olsen as we build upon the future-focused initiatives that Provost Licari has shaped in Academic Affairs here at ISU.”

Olsen said he’s “very grateful” for the opportunity.

“After more than twenty years at ISU, coming here as an assistant professor, I never imagined that I would have this chance,” he said. “It’s a special place to me, and now with two of my children enrolled here, I’m also an ISU parent.

“I want to thank President Curtis for the opportunity, and for her confidence in my ability to do the job effectively. I also want to thank Mike Licari for setting such an excellent example as Provost the past few years, and certainly wish him the best as President of Austin Peay. I look forward to continue working with so many colleagues in the ISU community that I’ve known for years.”

Olsen earned his Ph.D. in United States History, with minors in Colonial Latin American History and Political Culture Theory, from the University of Florida. He earned his Master’s from the University of Nebraska and his bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University.

He began his career at Virginia Wesleyan College. From 2005 to 2010, while leading ISU’s history department he was also Interim Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies.

Olsen’s scholarship focuses on pre-Civil War and Civil War America, particularly in the areas of political culture, sectionalism, and gender.

An announcement about interim leadership of the College of Arts and Sciences will come later.

Photo of Dr. Christopher Olsen

Media contacts:

Mark Alesia, Director of University Communication

(O) 812-237-3837

(C) 812-229-8020

Dianne Powell, Associate Director of University Communication

(O) 812-237-8764

(C) 812-878-2131