As Provost, I have been exploring new ideas to advance teaching excellence and pedagogical exploration and these are also part of our Roadmap priorities. The challenges of COVID-19 have accelerated our insights as we have met and continue to meet the evolving needs of our students by expanding the boundaries of pedagogy. To help drive this effort and to be more nimble and responsive, I will be recasting the Office of the Vice Provost for Academics by launching a new Office of Academic Innovation. The new office enhances and complements the important work already taking place at the U, while creating a new, institution-wide and interdisciplinary infrastructure that interfaces with other academic areas.
I am delighted to share that Greg Shepherd, professor and dean emeritus of the School of Communication, has agreed to serve as interim vice provost while we conduct a national search for a permanent leader to begin in the fall. As many of you know, I have asked Greg to spearhead the implementation of our Roadmap initiatives this past year, and he has begun important groundwork to strengthen and restructure key organizational areas.
Interdisciplinarity and experiential learning are key to a sustainable innovation infrastructure that builds on one of our greatest strengths—the depth and breadth of our 11 schools and colleges. We will be looking into the creation of academies that span all campuses and focus our teaching, research, and outreach around real world problems, like resiliency, and ensuring our graduates expand their knowledge and skills with the kinds of competencies and values the world needs.
I look forward to sharing more details about this new office in the months to come with you, and your input and support will be key to our future success.