To: University Faculty and Academic Appointees
From: Daniel Diermeier, Provost
Date: June 7, 2017
I am pleased to announce new appointments to the Office of the Provost. They are intended to provide enhanced support for faculty and students in our distinctive academic mission, and reflect the broad academic, financial, and administrative responsibilities of the Provost’s Office to that end. These appointments follow the appointment of four new deans: Katherine Baicker, Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy; Madhav Rajan, Dean of the Booth School; Anne Robertson, Dean of the Division of the Humanities; and Laurie Zoloth, Dean of the Divinity School.
Effective July 1, the following five appointments will take place:
David Nirenberg will join the office as Executive Vice Provost. David’s responsibilities will reflect the widely expressed desire for greater strategic, budgetary, and administrative coordination, especially among the Divisions and the College. Many of these issues were discussed in the Final Report of the Committee to Review the College and Divisional Structure, chaired by Larry Norman. In this role, David will work very closely with the deans of the divisions and the College, and continue to build upon such cross-cutting efforts such as UChicagoGRAD. David Nirenberg was the founding Director of the Neubauer Collegium and is currently Dean of the Division of the Social Sciences and the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought. He holds an academic appointment in the College and five academic appointments across the Social Sciences and Humanities Divisions: in the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, Department of History, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and Center for Jewish Studies. He will bring broad understanding of the University’s academic values, mission, and activities to his position.
Michael Hopkins will join the office as Vice Provost for Strategic Planning. He will lead the area of academic space allocation and, working with other faculty and administrative leaders, be the Provost’s Office representative in space planning, innovation, and environmental sustainability. Michael Hopkins is currently Deputy Dean of the Physical Sciences Division. In that role he assists Dean Kolb with strategic planning and overseeing the division’s undergraduate and graduate education programs. He is a professor in the Department of Chemistry, serving as Chair from 2003-2009.
Darren Reisberg, who has served as Vice President and Secretary of the University since 2014, will now have a role in both the President’s and Provost’s offices as Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Deputy Provost. Darren will oversee the operation and budget of the Office of the Provost, including communications to the campus community and beyond. Darren will provide administrative oversight for the Urban Education Institute and major academic centers, oversee on a day-to-day basis the regulatory and compliance matters about which the Office of the Provost has responsibility, continue to manage the Office of the Secretary of the Faculties, which supports faculty governance across the University, and advance leadership development and other strategic initiatives to enhance faculty and administrative capacity. Darren previously served as the first Executive Director of the University’s Institute of Politics and currently serves on the Institute’s Board of Advisors. The President will announce Darren’s successor as Vice President and Secretary.
Bala Srinivasan, currently Associate Provost for International and Strategic Initiatives and Senior Advisor to the President, will continue to have a role in both the President’s and Provost’s offices, now significantly enhanced as Vice President for Global Initiatives and Strategy and Senior Associate Provost. One of Bala’s key responsibilities will be to work with faculty, deans, and University administration to build academic partnerships and research collaborations with international partners, create global education opportunities, and strengthen our connections to foreign institutional partners, policymakers, and civic leaders.
Bridget Le Loup Collier will serve as Associate Provost and Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs. Bridget has served as interim Associate Provost since January 24. She joined the University in May of 2015 as Dean of Students and Senior Director of Student Engagement at the Graham School, where she provided innovative and strategic leadership for a variety of programs in service to students. Bridget is the founder and chair of the Chicagoland Title IX Consortium, an organization of over 40 higher education institutions that seeks to enhance knowledge, understanding, and application of Title IX policies and resources to advance gender parity and reduce sexual misconduct.
Additionally, Jason Merchant will join the office as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs in the Winter Quarter of 2018 succeeding Ronald Thisted, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and professor in the Departments of Public Health Sciences, Statistics, and Anesthesia & Critical Care, and in the College, who will step down at the end of February, 2018. As Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Jason will work with the deans and chairs on faculty appointments, promotions, recruitments, and retentions. Jason is the Lorna Puttkammer Straus Professor in the Department of Linguistics, and in the College. He served as Deputy Dean of the Division of Humanities from 2013-16.
All of these accomplished colleagues will bring deep experience and valuable perspectives to some of the most important issues that come before the Provost’s Office. I am delighted that David, Darren, Mike, Bala, Bridget, and Jason have agreed to serve in these roles and I hope you will join me in congratulating them.