Leadership & Process

COVID-19 Planning Teams

There was much to consider when making plans for the 2020-2021 school year. Wake Forest created a number of planning groups to assist in the information gathering and recommendation process. Those teams offered their insight to the Steering Committee, a group of senior administrators responsible for the University’s COVID-19 response and decision-making.


This group of leaders has been responsible for upholding the guiding principles of the University and its COVID-19 response, focusing on making the best decisions for Wake Forest moving forward.


  • Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College
  • Susan R. Wente, President
  • Rogan Kersh, Provost
  • Hof Milam, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Reid Morgan, Board Secretary/Legal Counsel
  • Emily Neese, Vice President of Strategy and Operations
  • Mark Petersen, Vice President for University Advancement
  • Mary Pugel, Chief of Staff
  • Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life

Academic Planning Groups

A combination of existing and newly created campus groups have been engaged in academic planning.

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AP/VP Group

This existing group of associate/assistant provosts and vice presidents help coordinate academic and operational planning across provost’s office, administrative offices, and academic support units, such as the registrar, global programs and others. While they have no specific COVID-19 charge, they have provided guidance on issues and programs as they developed.

  • AP/VP Group Members
    • Rogan Kersh, Provost
    • Martha Allman, Senior Assistant Provost, University Collaborations
    • Keith Bonin, Associate Provost, Research and Scholarly Inquiry
    • Andy Chan, Vice President, Innovation and Career Development
    • Kami Chavis, Associate Provost, Academic Affairs
    • Dedee Delongpre Johnston, Interim Chief Human Resources Officer
    • Brett Eaton, Senior Associate Vice President, Communications and External Relations
    • Ken Gilson, University Registrar
    • Phil Handwerk, Assistant Provost, Institutional Research
    • Kline Harrison Associate, Vice President and Associate Provost, Global Affairs
    • Beth Hoagland, Assistant Provost, Budget and Planning
    • Mur Muchane, Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
    • Emily Neese, Vice President, Strategy and Operations
    • Allison Perkins, Associate Provost, Reynolda House and Reynolda Gardens
    • Penny Rue, Vice President, Campus Life
    • Christina Soriano, Associate Provost, Interdisciplinary Initiatives and the Arts
    • Jose’ Villalba, Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
    • Samantha Perrotta Turner, Director, Strategic Initiatives

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Deans’ Council

This existing group, composed of the provost and deans of all Wake Forest academic units, began meeting twice a week during our COVID-19 response planning to review pressing academic initiatives, policies and issues. Each dean also has response teams within their respective schools to address concerns related to the pandemic.

  • Deans’ Council Members
    • Rogan Kersh, Provost
    • Michele Gillespie, Dean, Wake Forest College
    • Charles Iacovou, Dean of the School of Professional Studies
    • Jonathan Walton, Dean, School of Divinity
    • Tim Pyatt, ZSR
    • Jane Aiken, Dean, School of Law
    • Brad Jones, Dean, Graduate School (Reynolda Campus)
    • Dwayne Godwin, Dean, Graduate School (School of Medicine campus)
    • Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, Dean, School of Medicine
    • Terry Hales, School of Medicine
    • Michelle Roehm, Interim Dean of the School of Business

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Faculty Advisory Council

This new University-wide faculty group was convened by the provost and was charged with reviewing and shaping evolving policies, including scenario plans, related to COVID-19 academic planning.

  • Faculty Advisory Council Members
    • Phil Anderson, Associate Teaching Professor of Business
    • Eric Stone, Professor of Psychology
    • Susan Fahrbach, Professor of Biology
    • Mark Jensen, Teaching Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology
    • Nina Lucas, Professor of Dance
    • Lynn Neal, Professor of Religion
    • Gregory Parks, Professor of Law
    • Olga Pierrakos, Professor of Engineering
    • Kendall Tarte, Professor of French Studies
    • Rosalind Tedford, Director of Research & Instruction, ZSR Library

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Faculty Senate Executive Committee

The existing faculty senate leadership is a vital resource related to academic matters. They work in conjunction with academic administrators.

  • Faculty Senate Executive Committee Members
    • Ananda Mitra, Professor of Communication
    • Christine Coughlin, Professor of Legal Writing
    • Erica Still, Associate Professor of English
    • Pat Lord, Teaching Professor of Biology
    • Simone Caron, Professor of History
    • Wilson Parker, Professor of Constitutional Law
    • Mark Knudson/Chair, Professor of Medicine
    • Matt Phillips/Vice Chair, Associate Teaching Professor (Business)
    • Jane Albrecht, Professor of Spanish
    • Barry Trachtenberg, Michael H. and Deborah K. Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History

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Reopening Research Team

This group, developed in response to the pandemic, was charged with studying and recommending approaches to research and creative work across schools and departments. It has coordinated with the School of Medicine’s similar efforts.

  • Reopening Research Team Members
    • Keith Bonin, Associate Provost for Research & Scholarly Inquiry (Team Lead)
    • Rebecca Alexander, Director of Academic Planning, Wake Downtown and Professor of Chemistry
    • Pete Brubaker, Chair, Health & Exercise Science
    • Susan Fahrbach, Chair, Biology
    • Steve Fisenne, Environmental Health & Safety
    • Jeff Katula, Associate Professor of Health & Exercise Science
    • Dany Kim-Shapiro, Chair, Physics
    • Bruce King, Chair, Chemistry
    • Pam Moser, Associate Director for Human Research Protection, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
    • Immanuela Onocha, Environmental Health & Safety
    • Olga Pierrakos, Chair, Engineering
    • Ron Wright, Professor of Criminal Law

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Scenarios/Roadmap Planning Team

This group, designed to respond to the pandemic, was charged with coordinating research, data, advice from faculty/staff groups, responses by peer schools and other sources, and distilling that information into detailed scenarios for academic operations. This team also coalesced information from other working groups.

  • Scenarios/Roadmap Planning Team Members


    • Jane Aiken, Dean, School of Law
    • Shannon Badgett, Assistant Vice President of Budget and Planning
    • Betsy Barre, Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching
    • Andrea Bohn, Associate Vice President of Campus Life
    • Randy Casstevens, Senior Associate Athletic Director and CFO
    • Andy Chan, Vice President of Innovation and Personal and Career Development
    • Matthew Clifford, Assistant Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Residence Life and Housing
    • Joanne Clinch, Clinical Director
    • Anne Hardcastle, Associate Dean for Academic Planning (College) and Associate Professor of Spanish
    • Brett Eaton, Senior Associate Vice President, Communications and External Relations
    • Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College (Co-chair)
    • Ken Gilson, University Registrar
    • Matt Imboden, Chief Student Services Officer (Business)
    • Dedee Delongpre Johnston, Vice President of Human Resources and Sustainability
    • Eric Maguire, Vice President of Enrollment
    • Dina Marty, Deputy General Counsel
    • Mur Muchane, Vice President of Information Systems
    • Emily Neese, Vice President of Finance, Strategy and Operations (Co-chair)
    • Samantha Perrotta Turner, Chief of Staff, Office of the Provost
    • John Shenette, Vice President of Facilities and Campus Services
    • David Taylor, Assistant Dean of Global Study Away Programs
    • José Villalba, Chief Diversity Officer
    • John Wise, Associate Vice President of Hospitality & Auxiliary Services

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University Priorities Committee

This existing group of faculty leaders have been essential partners in assessing academic plans during the pandemic and reviewing and advising concerns related to budget implications.

  • University Priorities Committee Members
    • Matthew Phillips, Chair, UPC and Professor, School of Business
    • Jane Aiken, Dean, School of Law
    • Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College
    • Beth Hoagland, Assistant Provost, Budget and Planning
    • Hugh Howards, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
    • Ana Iltis, Professor, Philosophy
    • Shonda Jones, Senior Associate Dean, Divinity
    • Jon Moore, Reference Services Coordinator, ZSR Library
    • Rebecca Morrow, Professor, School of Law
    • Emily Neese, Vice President, Strategy and Operations
    • Wilson Parker, Professor, School of Law (at large)
    • Deon Strickland, Professor, School of Business
    • Eudora Struble, Assistant Director, Information Services
    • Janet Williams, Vice President, Finance
    • Rogan Kersh, Provost (ex officio)
    • Mark Knudson, Faculty Senate President (ex officio)
    • Hof Milam, Executive Vice President (ex officio)
    • Victoria Parker, Student & SGA Treasurer (ex officio)
    • Sarah Wojcik-Gross, Assistant Director of Client Services, Information Services (ex officio, as head of SAC)

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College COVID-19 Advisory Team

This team of faculty members, collaborating alongside the Dean of the College, have worked to respond to the pandemic and develop plans for the College’s 2020-2021 school year.

  • College COVID-19 Advisory Team Members
    • Miriam Ashley-Ross, Biology; Chair of the Committee on Academic Planning
    • Margaret Bender, Anthropology; Chair of the Collegiate Senators
    • Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College
    • Anne Hardcastle, Spanish & Italian; Associate Dean for Academic Planning
    • Paul Jones, Chemistry; Chair of the Committee on Academic Affairs
    • Daniel Kim-Shapiro, Chair, Physics; Chair of the Committee on Curriculum
    • Sarah Lischer, Politics & International Affairs; Chair of the Committee on Online Education

Operations Planning Groups

The following groups, some existing and some newly-formed, have been tasked with addressing University functions that extend beyond the academic mission.

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Athletics Phased Activities Resumption Planning Team

This group, with support from our broader senior staff and head coaches, has developed a medical plan, policies, and procedures that govern all aspects of a student-athlete’s return to campus for voluntary activities. Additionally, this group has been working concurrently with other COVID-19 response teams to meet or exceed University and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services standards while following all NCAA and ACC guidelines.

  • Athletics Phased Activities Resumption Planning Team Members
    • John Currie, Director of Athletics
    • Dr. Chris Miles, Wake Forest Athletics Medical Director and Family Medicine Doctor at Wake Forest Baptist Health with Specialty in Sports Medicine
    • Lindsey Babcock, Deputy AD, Internal Operations
    • Murphy Grant, Senior Associate AD/AHCA
    • Pete Paukstelis, Associate Counsel/Senior Advisor to Athletics
    • Randy Casstevens, Senior Associate AD, CFO
    • Sheena Poe, Chief of Staff
    • Ellie Shannon, Associate AD, Athletic Event & Facility Operations
    • Jordan Jarry, Assistant AD, Director of Football Operations

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COVID Data Review Committee

Reviews our internal dashboard indicators on a daily basis and generates recommendations/identify issues for consideration by the Steering Committee regarding the (1) operations of our campus and (2) our COVID mitigation program. Also, crafts sampling strategy for random and targeted testing programs and monitors results.

  • COVID Data Review Committee Members
    • Jeff Camm, Associate Dean of Business Analytics, School of Business
    • Joanne Clinch, Clinical Director
    • David Eaton, Director, IS Analytics & Data Governance
    • Phil Handwerk, Assistant Provost of Institutional Research
    • Lucy McGowan, Assistant Professor of Statistics
    • Chris Ohl, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Infectious Diseases
    • Cecil Price, Director, Student Health Service
    • Penny Rue (Chair), Vice President, Campus Life

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Incident Management Team – Emergency Management

This team handles the most immediate actions during the early stages of an emergency.

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Incident Management Team – Operations Group

This more than 60-member team has been charged with planning and responding to the impacts of COVID-19; protecting and supporting the health, safety and welfare of faculty, staff, students and visitors; maintaining our commitment to Wake Forest’s mission to provide instruction, research and service; maintaining business and administrative operations; recovering as quickly and efficiently as possible if any operations are interrupted or suspended; ensuring clear communications on campus, with parents, to the community and with stakeholders’ and establishing triggers to prompt prudent actions. It has 12 subgroups focused on addressing operational needs across campus: food service; healthcare delivery; health and safety; student employment; student financial need; isolation protocols; cleaning protocols; graduate/off-campus students; supply chain; events; shipping of belongings; and residence hall move-out.