UO Today: Jayanth Banavar discusses his role as provost

UO Provost Jayanth Banavar

A new episode of “UO Today” features Jayanth Banavar talking about some of the university’s scientific initiatives and discussing his role as UO provost and senior vice president.

 “What I think a provost does, first and foremost, is to champion our students, our staff and our faculty, and be there for the president and really push the university forward in excellence,” Banavar said. He started work on campus in July of this year.

Banavar went on to praise the $1 billion Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact initiative while addressing divisions he sees on campus between science and nonscience disciplines.

“There are issues that often crop up of what are the role of disciplines other than science on this campus, and truth be told, if you think about it a bit, science makes the world a better place,” he said. “But there is a more fundamental question which we should all ask, and which we all do ask, which is ‘What makes life worth living?’ And the answer is really about arts, it’s about culture, it’s about humanity, and so in some sense what really makes our university very strong is that we have all these areas represented here.”

Other topics explored in the interview include the UO’s Presidential Initiative on Data Science and Banavar’s research on the geometry and scale of living organisms and the geometry and physics of proteins.  

For more, watch the interview on the UO Today channel.

“UO Today” is a weekly half-hour interview program hosted by Paul Peppis, a UO English professor and director of the Oregon Humanities Center. Each episode features a conversation with UO faculty and administrators, visiting scholars, authors or artists.

It is produced by the Oregon Humanities Center in collaboration with UO Libraries’ Center for Media and Educational Technology. An archive of past interviews is available on the Oregon Humanities Center’s website or on their YouTube channel.

—By Sarah Eddy, University Communications