I N S I D E T H I S
I S S U E : :
Center for Interna-
becomes Center for
Global Programs and
Nathan and Julie
Hatch Prize for
CCS Fellows announced
J A N U A R Y 2 4 , 2 0 1 4
V O L U M E 2 , I S S U E 3
S P E C I A L D A T E S O F
I N T ER E S T :
January 29th: Men’s bas-
ketball vs. Syracuse, 9:00
PM | LJVM Coliseum
February 14th: Campus
Connections, 8:45 –10:00
AM | Benson 401
February 20th: Founders’
Day Convocation, 4:00
PM | Wait Chapel
12:00—5:00 PM| Wait
February 26th: Secrest
Artists Series, Orpheus
Chamber Orchestra, 7:30
PM | Wait Chapel
Message from the Provost...
New year’s—and new semester’s—greetings to faculty and staff colleagues! Wishing you each a fulfilling and
rewarding 2014…and looking forward to continuing our working together on all matters academic at ‘dear old
On that theme, an update from the first half of the current (2013-14) academic year, reporting on two of the
primary objectives articulated in my last newsletter.
Enhancing academic programs/faculty excellence
A grateful salute to Chemistry professor Rebecca Alexander, Foundation/Corporate Relations director Linda
Luvaas, and a group of faculty/staff colleagues on winning a coveted 2014 Beckman Scholars Award for Under-
graduate Science Research (sponsored by the Beckman Foundation). WFU is one of 12 schools nationwide to
win the Award; this a first for us, joining past winners like Stanford, Yale, Brown, Vanderbilt, Duke...a tremen-
dous testament to our STEM faculty and URECA program specifically.
Hearty thanks also to two of our trustees—Bobby Burchfield and Debbie Rubin—for their generous commit-
ment to our Presidential Chairs program, dedicated to attracting and retaining WFU’s outstanding teacher-
scholars. Debbie and Mike Rubin have designated Jewish Studies as their field for a Chair; the holder will have
a primary appointment in History and likely also connect with Religion and the Divinity School, among other
disciplines. Bobby’s gift will support a Chair in Political Economy, to be housed in our Economics department
with expected interdisciplinary engagement with Politics/International Affairs, Philosophy, and Business School
faculty and students.
Searches for distinguished holders of these Chairs will be launched in coming months. The new arrivals will
join our initial Presidential Chair designate, Michele Gillespie. As our Reynolda Campus endowed chairs heard
a few weeks back, Michele’s current research project, on the fascinating colonial Georgian Mary Musgrove,
promises to be another landmark work.
Along with these enduring testaments to the teacher-scholar ideal, we continue to make strong strides on the
sponsored-research front. Last academic year, our Reynolda campus grants total was nearly $10 million, our
second-highest total ever; the first half of this academic year (July-December 2013) marked our best-ever six-
month period, at $6.7 million. Working with Bruce King, associate provost for research, our Office of Research
& Sponsored Programs, as well as Deans’ offices across campus, we will continue to encourage and incentivize
grant proposals: recent totals are all the more impressive given this past year’s significant sequester-induced
reduction in NSF, NIH, and other sources of federal grant support.
Build and sustain an engaged, high-functioning provost’s-office team.
As I’ve noted many times since arriving last year, I’m immensely fortunate to inherit such a remarkable group
of co-conspirators in this office. And I’m not the only one to notice their excellence: Jennifer Collins, our be-
loved vice provost, has been snapped up by SMU as their new Dean of the Law School. Rick Matthews, our CIO
and associate provost for technology/computing, isn’t moving as far away; he will join Dean Fetrow’s office to
promote more technology-enhanced teaching efforts in our College classrooms. These two lamented depar-
tures will require considered thought about how best to organize my team to provide maximally beneficial
service to the University. I welcome conversation with you all to that end.