Provost and senior vice president Jayanth Banavar has announced that he is stepping down from his position at the end of the academic year.
He will join the UO faculty as a professor in the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences. President Michael H. Schill announced Banavar’s decision in a message to campus.
“I want to thank Jayanth for his distinguished service as provost over the last two years,” Schill said. “He has served in one of the most challenging executive roles at any university with great warmth, caring and an unwavering focus on strengthening and building academic excellence at the UO.”
During his tenure, Banavar launched major changes within the Office of the Provost to improve academic affairs, making strides that bolster the UO’s academic foundation and championing diversity and inclusion.
Schill said among Banavar’s numerous accomplishments is the solidification of the use of a more transparent budget model for schools and colleges and an innovative academic hiring plan to increase faculty ranks. The president also praised Banavar’s efforts to revolutionize student advising on campus, launch an ambitious interdisciplinary data science program, revamp the Clark Honors College and recruit several deans and outstanding scholars, including Nobel Prize-winner David Wineland.
Banavar said he enjoyed working closely with the faculty, president and board of trustees.
“I am thankful that I had the opportunity to work with a very dedicated staff, with generous friends and donors, with the Senate, and with other campus leaders to help improve our scholarly endeavors,” Banavar said in a letter to academic leaders. “Here, at UO, we put our students first in all that we do. Whether it is in promoting their success or developing groundbreaking initiatives, I am grateful to have played a part in moving our university forward with your help and support.”
Banavar will join the faculty July 1. Schill said he will consult with campus stakeholders and faculty leaders prior to selecting an interim provost and creating a process for filling the role permanently.
“Going forward, we will strive for a smooth transition that maintains all of the momentum and progress that Jayanth has delivered in the Office of the Provost,” Schill said. “Ensuring that we have effective leadership in the position is vital to achieving our shared academic goals and objectives.”