At UW Oshkosh, Koker has served as dean of the College of Letters and Science (COLS) since 2006. He will take on the interim role following Lane Earns, who will retire from UW Oshkosh after serving as provost and leading the division of academic affairs for 13 years.
“John has demonstrated strong leadership in the College of Letters and Science—and I am pleased he is willing to lead the division of academic affairs during this time of transition,” Leavitt said. “To the interim role, John brings extensive experience and institutional knowledge, strong relationships with faculty and a focus on student success.”
During Koker’s time as dean, he was a key leader in creating and implementing the University’s new general education program—the University Studies Program, which began in 2013. He also co-led a collaborative effort to create new bachelor’s degrees in environmental, electrical and mechanical engineering technology, as well as oversaw the creation of five other new majors as a result of community collaborations to promote economic development in the region.
Prior to his time leading COLS, Koker, a math professor, had been a member of the faculty at UW Oshkosh since 1991, serving as department chair from 2000-2006.
In 2014, Koker received a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for Education from St. Norbert College. He also has earned the UW System Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award (2006), the UW Oshkosh Rosebush Professor for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Service Award (2004) and the UW Oshkosh Distinguished Teaching Award (2002).
Within the greater community, Koker serves on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Oshkosh and the UW Oshkosh Business Success Center. He also is engaged in the arts and has acted in numerous theatre productions within the UW Oshkosh Theatre Department; he also has acted in many short films and has narrated several symphonic pieces.
Koker has a doctorate in mathematics from UW-Milwaukee, a master’s degree from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree from St. Norbert College.
A national search for the University’s next provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs will begin next spring. An interim dean for COLS will soon be announced.