We are in the midst of change. With our chancellor and provost both moving back to the faculty and several other administrators retiring or leaving, this will be an exciting and dynamic year of transition.
I’m honored to be serving as your interim provost and senior vice chancellor. Matthew Theriot, formerly associate provost for teaching and learning innovation, has stepped into my former slot and taken on the added responsibilities of interim vice provost for faculty. How long we remain in these interim positions will depend on how quickly we find a new chancellor and then complete our search for a new provost and senior vice chancellor.
We have a strong leadership team to see us through this time of transition. Although I’m new in the interim post, I’ve been in the Office of the Provost for more than four years. Vice Provost for Academic Affairs R. J. Hinde has been in his position for a year, and Dixie Thompson, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, brings extensive administrative experience to her new role. Finally, Matthew, though new to his interim post, has been in the office for a year. I’m confident that our combined experience and our commitment to UT will help us provide stability and continuity in the months ahead.
We are also fortunate to have Vol Vision 2020 to keep us moving forward in our journey to make UT a top public research university. We’ll be enlisting your help as we work on meeting our goals in undergraduate education; graduate education; research, scholarship, creative activity, and engagement; faculty and staff; and resources and infrastructure.
In addition to these goals, Vol Vision 2020 adds a priority area that was not in the previous version of the plan: diversity and inclusion. I will work closely with the faculty and my fellow vice chancellors to find ways to increase dialogue and understanding in order to make our university a supportive and welcoming place for all who live, work, and study here.
I want to thank former Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Susan Martin. During her seven years as provost, she helped our university make huge strides in its journey to the top. She has left the provost’s office and our campus poised for continued success.
We’re going to be busy and challenges exist, but we are moving forward with confidence and enthusiasm. I look forward to working with all of you.