Shortly after Robert “Robbie” Robinson became the University’s chief of public safety in October 1993, he had a “chance encounter” with James K. Duah-Agyeman, who was then the director of the Center for Academic Achievement in the Division of Student…
Vanable Named Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of Graduate School
Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly has named Peter Vanable to a new position as associate provost for graduate studies and as dean of the Graduate School, effective January 1, 2017. The Board of Trustees Executive Committee will be asked to approve this appointment at its next meeting.
Vanable has served as interim dean of the Graduate School since October 1, 2015, and as interim vice president for research since January 1, 2016. A search for a permanent vice president for research will launch this month, with an expected appointment to occur next summer. In addition to his new role, Vanable will continue to serve as interim vice president for research until a new vice president for research is appointed.
“The decision to create a new position of associate provost for graduate studies grew out of extensive discussion with the Academic Deans’ Cabinet as well as with key University Senate committees,” says Wheatly. “This is a great opportunity for the University to expand its focus on the critically important area of graduate studies, and Peter has both the background and experience to lead this effort. He brings strengths not only as an outstanding teacher, scholar and administrator, but also as a mentor for students across the spectrum of their academic careers. In this new capacity, he also will be a valuable resource for, and work closely with, the incoming vice president for research to assure both continuity and growth in our research portfolio moving forward.”
As associate provost for graduate studies, Vanable will oversee campuswide coordination of certificate, master’s, doctoral and professional programs. In close cooperation with the division of enrollment management and the student experience, he will:
- Coordinate graduate enrollment processes across schools and colleges, including working with international graduate students
- Synchronize the University’s efforts in online graduate education, including overseeing the university’s portfolio of graduate program partnerships with 2U
- Standardize the University’s efforts with respect to graduate enrollment data, analysis, reporting and admissions processes
- Enhance institutional support for new and continuing graduate students on campus, including oversight of graduate assistantships, fellowships and other funding opportunities with the twin goals of improving graduate student success and retention
- Augment professional development opportunities for graduate students, including TA training and support, career development, English language assessment and language support for international TAs
- Oversee degree certification and administrative review of master’s thesis and dissertation defenses
Vanable will also facilitate systematic program review and evaluation of graduate programs, and will support the University’s efforts to elevate the quality of its research-oriented doctoral programs. He will partner closely with the Office of Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness to promote program assessment and improvement.
“I am really excited and honored to take on the role of associate provost for graduate studies,” says Vanable “The University’s goal of elevating research will benefit from greater attention to and support for our doctoral training programs. As well, I’m excited to work with campus leaders and faculty colleagues to support their efforts to grow and maintain outstanding master’s and professional programs.”
A professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences since 1999, Vanable served as chair of his department from 2009 to 2015. He is a regular reviewer for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is currently an associate editor at the journal AIDS and Behavior. He has been principal investigator or co-investigator on more than $8 million in research grants from the NIH for projects focusing on innovative approaches to health promotion and disease prevention. As department chair, he emphasized strong mentoring and support for junior faculty, many of whom have gone on to obtain grant support from the NIH, the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies. He also served as chair of the University’s Institutional Review Board.