Indiana State University Newsroom

Dr. Christopher Olsen appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

December 16, 2021

Following a national search, Dr. Christopher Olsen has been appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Indiana State University. Olsen has been interim Provost since March.

Olsen and another finalist were interviewed this month on campus. The search committee, chaired by Diann McKee, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, made its recommendation to Indiana State President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis.

“Dr. Olsen has excelled at ISU as a professor, department chair, dean, and, for the past 10 months, interim provost,” Curtis said. “His wide-ranging experience, leadership, and dedication to ISU’s unique mission will help advance our university to even greater heights.”

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

Olsen said he is “thrilled and humbled” to serve in this position.

“After more than 20 years here, the students, staff, and our amazing faculty continue to make me so proud to be part of ISU,” Olsen said. “I am particularly excited to help shape the Indiana State Advantage that begins with the incoming class of 2022. It’s a great time to be at ISU.

“I’m grateful to President Curtis for supporting me, and for having the confidence that I can lead Academic Affairs at such an important time in the university’s history. I want to thank my fellow deans and other colleagues who’ve helped me over the last ten months as interim provost.

“And I have a deep appreciation for the faculty, associate deans, and chairs in the College of Arts and Sciences who’ve supported and taught me so much over the last 20 years, first as a fellow chairperson and then as Dean since 2016. Particular thanks, too, to Bassam Yousif for serving as Interim Dean this year in the College.”

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.

Photo1 and Photo2 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