Geertrui M. Spaepen
Associate Provost for Operations and Initiatives
As Associate Provost for Operations and Initiatives, Geertrui serves as a member of the senior leadership team, overseeing the operations, budget, human resources, staffing, space, and administration for the Office of the Provost. She partners with the provost and the leadership team on strategic initiatives and projects and provides budget oversight to the academic centers and institutes situated in the Office of the Provost. Geertrui also manages the leadership review and search processes for deans and directors reporting to the provost, and serves as a liaison to other administrative offices at the University.
Geertrui joined the University in 2002 and has served in a variety of teaching, student life, and administrative positions. She became Associate Provost for Operations and Initiatives in September 2023 after serving as Chief of Staff to the provost since March 2020. Prior to joining the Office of the Provost, Geertrui was the Associate Secretary of the University. In that role, Geertrui supported the University’s Board of Trustees, managed the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Laboratory Schools boards, and served as Secretary of the Baptist Theological Union. For a decade she also managed oversight of the University’s 14 Advisory Councils (formerly known as Visiting Committees). Geertrui first joined the Office of the President in 2007 as the Student Ombudsperson, responsible for investigating student grievances and negotiating solutions with academic and student deans. She and her husband also served as Resident Heads in College Housing & Residence Life for close to a decade.
Preceding the University of Chicago, Geertrui held teaching and research positions at Harvard University in the Department of Psychology, studying primate behavior in the laboratory and at several field sites around the world. She also served as a psychology degree advisor and as a Resident Tutor for undergraduates at Harvard. Geertrui received master’s degrees in Social Sciences and in Comparative Human Development, both from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in Biological Anthropology from Harvard College. Outside of University life, Geertrui teaches at a music camp every summer and is an active participant in Hyde Park’s chamber music network.
Budget, Operations, and HR