Vice Provosts Start Term
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 02:10
In an effort to restructure leadership on campus and to increase focus on interdisciplinary study, three new vice provost positions, created by Georgetown Provost Robert Groves last January, have been filled by current professors at Georgetown.
Georgetown’s new vice provost for research is biology and psychology professor Janet Mann. Public policy professor Adriana Kugler was named vice provost for faculty and Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship Executive Director Randall Bass was appointed vice provost for education. The position of vice provost for the finance and program analysis position has not been filled.
The Office of the Provost is conducting university-wide surveys to assess both current and desired collaborative efforts in interdisciplinary studies across campus.
“Once we have this data, we can determine the interdisciplinary strengths and also opportunities for growth,” Mann said.
As vice provost for education, Bass is taking steps to implement a form of interdisciplinary clusters or seminars that would link multiple courses from many subjects under one umbrella, ideally for a first-year group and eventually as a core requirement.
“Interdisciplinary programs are the future of growth,” Bass said. “We are trying to normalize that we can make interdisciplinary exposure a part of as many first-year students’ experience as possible.”
Bass is also responsible for guiding the evaluation of existing academic programs on campus. While he noted that the current system of academic review has been working well, in the future Bass hopes to collect more statistical data based on student experience, particularly from young alumni.
“Young alums help us think about the changing skill-set of a liberal education. By reaching out to them for critique, we are making an effort to help programs think about their own self-study,” Bass said. “We can then map that back to our curriculum.”
As vice provost for faculty, Kugler is working to support joint appointments of faculty across different schools. Since her appointment one month ago, Kugler has created guidelines to encourage more joint appointments, which are currently being looked over by the Faculty Senate for approval.
“The idea is that some schools do great with joint appointments and have been collaborating for years with different departments. We also have others that do not take advantage of these interdisciplinary appointments,” Kugler said.
Since her appointment as vice provost for research, Mann has started biweekly meetings with William Rebeck, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, to brainstorm how to support research efforts.
In order to make it easier for both faculty and students to explore research projects, Mann said that she would like to update the online Explore system, Georgetown’s current mode of searching for relevant faculty by research topic.
“We must strengthen quantitative skills in our undergraduate and graduate population. Students entering the workforce often need strong skills in collecting, analyzing and interpreting data,” Mann said. “The digital age has brought mass datasets to our fingertips and most of us don’t know how to take advantage of these opportunities and avoid pitfalls.”
Mann said that she is working to streamline the grants and administration system for research.
“Right now, faculty [members] spend too much time on administrative tasks,” Mann said. “They should be focusing on their scholarship and not filling out forms all the time. That is the goal of this new system.”
Kugler praised the university’s decision to employ current professors to fill the vice provost positions.
“At some universities, faculty and administrators are not tandem,” Kugler said. “I understand the challenges to being a faculty member and where we can find solutions to benefit the university as a whole. You don’t just forget what it is like to be a professor.”
Bass, too, saw the connection between his new role and his position at CNDLS.
“I see this position as a continuation, as the evolving nature of Georgetown has to continuously reinvent itself. We must look to the future and work with new concepts of design,” Bass said.
Groves could not be reached for comment.