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New Provost Moves to Consolidate Office

Alum signs on as associate provost for strategic initiatives


Provost Jean Morrison promises to consult with faculty and administrators to learn more about existing and developing academic programs before making more changes.

Jean Morrison, the new University provost and chief academic officer, has made several structural changes designed to consolidate the areas of responsibility of BU’s associate provosts. Morrison, who came to BU earlier this month from the University of Southern California, has also appointed Nicole A. Hawkes (MET’02) associate provost for strategic initiatives. 

Morrison, who described the changes in an email to academic deans, says she is making the move “so that one person will be responsible to me for closely related processes and issues. This will enable us to work closely together in an efficient way that ensures that we are effectively advancing the quality and stature of the University.”

In accordance with the changes, five associate provosts will report directly to Morrison: Hawkes, Victor Coelho, associate provost for undergraduate education, Hannelore Glaser (CAS’71, GRS’77, GSM’81), associate provost for finance and administration, Andrei Ruckenstein, vice president and associate provost for research, and Julie Sandell, associate provost for faculty affairs.

In addition, Diane Schneeberger, assistant provost for academic services, will report to Sandell, who will take on an expanded role as associate provost for faculty affairs. Ara Tahmassian, associate vice president for research compliance, will report directly to Ruckenstein, whose role will expand to include research compliance issues on the Charles River Campus. And Sue Kennedy, assistant provost, with responsibility for scholarships and fellowships, will report to Coelho.

Morrison said she would use the next few months to continue to assess the current configuration. She promised to consult broadly with faculty and administrators to learn more about existing and developing academic programs before making additional changes. 

Hawkes, who worked with Morrison at USC in a variety of roles, most recently as associate provost of academic affairs, says she welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the forward momentum of BU. “The University has grown and evolved in so many positive directions since my time as a student,” she says. “I’m enthusiastic about working to further enhance the academic programs and stature.”

Hawkes’ responsibilities at USC included leadership of the academic program review process and the Women in Science and Engineering Program. Previously, she worked for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, where she was a senior program associate for the MacArthur Fellows Program. She developed and evaluated dossiers on nominees for the fellowships in the areas of arts, humanities, public affairs, and science. She earned a BA from Mount Holyoke College, an MA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MS from Boston University.

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.


2 Comments on New Provost Moves to Consolidate Office

  • Dr. Kamal Hosney Bayoumy on 09.02.2011 at 11:34 am

    The biggest issue, which faces Provost Jean Morrison is how to develop the status of BU to rank it from fifties or even forties to thirties. This should be on her top priotity in collaboration with her associates and BU faculties or staff. I want to see this as a reality not a vision or a dream. Actions speak better than words.

  • Ramesh Kumar Nanjundaiya (MET 1981) on 10.11.2011 at 12:16 pm

    BU has already stepped up its pace particularly in the last 24 months. I see that Provost Jean Morrison has undertaken vital structural changes to further the momentum at BU. For one, I gather she is working diligently with each academic department to clarify and articulate the competitive strengths and to identify the initiatives necessary to further the various degree programs. Here self-assessment becomes a key with a new provost to gear up to the accreditation maintenance review. Another avenue that Provost Jean Morrison could look to do well is to assess the marketplace, the competition and student satisfaction and performance. This way, each department would have developed a clear articulation of the theoretical and practical value it provides to its students and identified the areas where the investment of incremental resources is most compelling. It may be noted that the dramatic impact of technology is not restricted to the industries but to the field of education as well. BU will do well to ensure that the classrooms have all been significantly upgraded technologically and the faculty is well trained on the latest pedagogical tools for the classroom. As BU also provides a significant amount of curriculum online, it should further develop a strategy to leverage the reach of electronic delivery systems and platforms so that this generation of students at BU take the full advantage of technology and its pedagogical possibilities, efficient dissemination of information and growth. BU should strategise further to give due importance to Interdisciplinary learning as it will become an increasingly important element for growth and will aid students to be more effective problem solvers in career and in life. I am sure Provost Jean Morrison has already set plans to further BU in the global space.

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