Research at Boston University

BU Joins AAU

Two NewAssociate Provosts

By John O’Rourke

An English professor and an engineering professor, both with extensive administrative experience, have been tapped to fill two key leadership roles at Boston University, each following a national search.

Elizabeth Bergmann Loizeaux, formerly the associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Maryland, has been named the new associate provost for undergraduate affairs in the Office of the Provost. Timothy Alan Barbari, the former dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and associate provost for research at Georgetown University, has been appointed to the new position of associate provost for graduate affairs. Both will report to Jean Morrison, university provost and chief academic officer, and serve as key members of the provost’s cabinet.

“Beth and Tim will serve critical roles at Boston University,” says Morrison. “They will provide leadership in enhancing the quality and stature of our academic programs and interdisciplinary education and initiatives and they will work closely with the deans of our schools and colleges, our faculty, and other leaders in the Office of the Provost to advance our academic standing.”

Loizeaux will work closely with the University’s schools and colleges to promote collaboration and strengthen the undergraduate academic and intellectual experience. In addition to providing leadership on efforts that include innovative curriculum development and honors programming, she will oversee the Kilachand Honors College, the Center for Excellence & Innovation in Teaching, and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

While serving as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the University of Maryland’s College of Arts & Humanities, Loizeaux oversaw the curriculum for 87 undergraduate and graduate programs, where she gained “experience thinking across boundaries of departments and colleges to identify and articulate common aspirations”—experience she says that will prove useful as she helps to develop new programs at BU.

 “This position offers the opportunity to work with people throughout the University on issues that are critical not just to BU, but more generally to American higher education, which is in a period of significant transformation,” says Loizeaux. “As we think together about undergraduate education—what it is and should be—we are helping to shape a national conversation and BU’s place in it.”

A scholar of twentieth-century poetry, with an emphasis on the relationship between poetry and the visual arts, Loizeaux received a BA from Mount Holyoke College and her MA and PhD from the University of Michigan. She will hold a faculty appointment in the Department of English, but says that for now, her position in the Office of the Provost will claim her full attention.

“The most immediate challenge is to continue developing our ability to think as One BU,” says Loizeaux. “That means creating opportunities to explore areas of common interest and possible collaboration across schools and colleges, and continuing the productive efforts to establish University-wide policies and procedures that remove barriers and facilitate students’ ability to take advantage of all that the University has to offer.”

As Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs, Barbari’s appointment is part of an effort, first detailed in the University’s 2007 strategic plan, to strengthen the quality and stature of BU’s PhD programs in particular, so that they can compete with the very best programs in the country.

Barbari “will play an essential role in defining and leading the University’s approach to graduate education,” says Morrison.

Barbari says his most immediate challenge will be “to put into place a funding model for supporting the PhD programs across the University,” noting that “academic reputation among research universities is strongly correlated to the quality of their PhD programs, and program quality in turn is highly dependent on two factors: top-notch faculty and highly qualified graduate students. The two are tightly coupled.”

At Georgetown, Barbari oversaw the creation of nine new graduate programs, including doctorates in computer science and global infectious disease.

“Having been on the front lines during the development of new graduate programs, including joint and dual degrees with other institutions, some international, I am sure I will draw upon those experiences to assist those interested in building new programs at BU,” says Barbari.

He also hopes to use his position to improve graduate student life on campus, something he says that often doesn’t get enough attention. Barbari plans to partner with Student Affairs to develop ideas that will lead to a more enhanced living experience for students pursuing advanced degrees.

A chemical engineer by training, Barbari earned a BS from the Colorado School of the Mines, a MS from the University of California at Berkeley, and his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. Like Loizeaux, he brings more than 25 years of teaching experience to his new post, having taught at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland at College Park, and at Georgetown. In addition, he has held faculty appointments in Departments of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Physics, as well as a School of Foreign Service during his career. At BU, he will hold an appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

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