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News & Events

Provost's Office Restructuring
(August 2005)


Our core work of scholarship, teaching, and learning has implications for how we structure ourselves. The Provost’s Office is aligning its work to implement Chancellor Santiago’s two critical goals: raising UWM’s stature as a research university and ensuring that UWM fulfills its commitment to student access, success, and diversity. In partnership with the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Chancellor’s cabinet, the Academic Deans, and governance groups, I will focus my work on:

  • Promoting growth in scholarship and research across the university;
  • Maintaining excellence in our graduate and undergraduate program array and fostering the development of new programs;
  • Increasing student success while maintaining access;
  • Enhancing diversity in students, staff, and faculty;
  • Ensuring that the University’s infrastructure for research, teaching, and learning (i.e., I & MT, CIPD, UWM Libraries) meets campus needs and that budget, personnel, and space management are similarly aligned; and
  • Assessing institutional progress in meeting our goals.

To assist me, the Provost’s office is undergoing some restructuring.

Key Changes
Responsibilities among the three associate vice chancellor positions and other office staff have been realigned:

  • The vacant position of Associate Vice Chancellor has been redefined with a major focus on diversity and climate issues, addressing the goals of the Milwaukee Commitment, with responsibility for faculty, staff, and student climate and progress toward diversifying the campus. A recruitment is underway to fill this position. More information is online at
  • Associate Vice Chancellor Dev Venugopalan now has oversight of program review and new program development and faculty/staff promotion, retention, and tenure processes, creating a stronger linkage between programmatic quality and faculty/staff productivity through CIPD and other professional development initiatives.
  • The Access to Success student retention initiative and the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research are in Associate Vice Chancellor Ruth Williams’ portfolio, reflecting Academic Affairs’ focus on assessing and improving the student experience. Space management, classroom assignments, and academic misconduct appeals are also Williams’ responsibility.
  • A ‘budget and planning cluster’ has been created. Associate Vice Chancellor Ruth Williams will work closely with Business and Financial Services Director Andy Richards on campus planning and budgeting in an advisory capacity to the Provost, promoting campus implementation of the Chancellor’s goals for research and student success.
  • The capacity of the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research will be expanded by the recruitment of an assistant director reporting to Director Gesele Durham.
  • Laura Pedrick has been assigned new responsibilities, including serving as the Provost’s liaison on campus technology and the capital campaign, coordinating planning for technology for teaching, learning, and research, and enhancing communication between the Provost’s Office and units within Academic Affairs.

The responsibilities of Provost’s office staff members are in the process of being assessed and realigned to support the administration’s goals. Once that effort is finished, additional information will be available on the Staff page of the Provost’s Web site, which is also getting a new look.

When I interviewed for this position I outlined a number of issues that would need to be addressed by Academic Affairs in order for the campus to make meaningful progress on Chancellor Santiago’s goals. The realignment of portfolios and staff in the Provost’s Office will increase our capacity to coordinate initiatives in these and other areas.

Rita Cheng
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs