Acting provost outlines academic priorities, plans for future

Janet Woodruff-Borden

Acting Provost Janet Woodruff-Borden sent the following message to the campus community Sept. 6:

Dear colleagues,

It is an honor to serve as the University of Oregon’s acting provost and executive vice president. I am excited to lead the university’s academic enterprise at such an important time in the institution’s history—a time of opportunity and progress.

I was inspired to join the UO in 2018 because this is a university that dreams big and indeed achieves big. Together, we work and succeed in ways much greater than our scale. For the last three years as the executive vice provost for academic affairs, and before that as the dean of the Graduate School (now Division of Graduate Studies), I focused on several priorities. These are: promoting inclusive academic excellence, building a community where everyone feels they belong and can thrive, and fostering a culture devoted to mentorship. I am also a professor of psychology and study the developmental psychopathology of anxiety. I continue to be inspired by my research and over the course of my career I have mentored 35 doctoral and hundreds of undergraduate students. Their success is core to my identity as a faculty member. All of these experiences will continue to inform my work as provost.

My focus this year will be on continuing the momentum of our academic priorities. This includes further institutionalizing the academic initiatives through program development, faculty engagement, and integration of diversity and innovation across all these efforts. These initiatives are particularly exciting to me because they are helping us to think differently and boldly about how we are going to educate our students and impact our research.

In addition, I will also work with the deans, new and veteran alike, to establish and activate their priorities and visions aligned with the university mission. Another focus will be working toward inclusive excellence through our student success efforts and by enhancing our faculty and student recruitment and retention efforts.

Finally, I am committed to ensuring the provost’s office continues to provide efficient and effective support to faculty and to the leadership of our schools and colleges. I am extremely grateful to my colleagues in the Office of the Provost who are stepping up to help fill many of the responsibilities of executive vice provost, so this important academic support and service continues.

As we prepare for the start of another academic year, I want to acknowledge the truly amazing efforts of our entire campus to preserve the educational experience of our students. The challenges of the last few years have brought out the best of who we are as a community. It is wonderful to be coming back together, with renewed energy and sense of purpose. I hope you join me in looking forward to a new academic year with optimism and confidence in the direction UO is heading.

I believe in this institution, and I believe firmly that if you are willing, you can make a difference. I look forward to working with you to ensure we continue to provide the highest quality of scholarly activities and student educational programs.

The Office of the Provost will share additional information about the start of fall term in the coming days and weeks. As always, please feel free to reach out to me or any member of my leadership team with questions or ideas about how to make this academic year the best that it can be.

Sincerely,

Janet Woodruff-Borden
Acting Provost and Executive Vice President