The Cardinal interviews incoming University Provost, Lori Gonzalez Tuesday, Jan 19 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

Dr. Lori Gonzalez, the newly selected executive vice president and university provost (EVPUP), was recently interviewed by The Louisville Cardinal and outlined her upcoming position at the University of Louisville.

“The things that drew me to the University of Louisville are some of the initiatives around anti-racism and improving retention rates to keep our undergraduate students enrolled and to ensure that they graduate on time,” Gonzalez said. She also enjoyed reading U of L’s Strategic Plan because it succinctly presented the university’s goals of making itself a great place to learn, work and invest.

Gonzalez further noted President Neeli Bendapudi’s involvement with students as a pulling factor.

“When I saw President Bendapudi and her videos to students, her writing to students, I just thought this was a president who cares about higher ed, cares about the students and is going to be sure that the institution is a student-first place for people to learn,” she said.

Gonzalez said that her leadership in education has prepared her best for her new role as university provost.

“I started out as a faculty member and moved into administration at the college level. I’ve been a dean, I’ve been a provost, and now I’m a vice chancellor,” she said. “I think the thing that prepares you best for leadership is enjoying the mission of the institution and believing passionately about the mission, and then enjoying working with people.”

When asked how she has worked to uphold the Cardinal principle of diversity and inclusion in the past, Gonzalez first elaborated on how she came to appreciate diversity and inclusion in her own life. Being from a small town in eastern Kentucky, Gonzalez said she didn’t have experiences with those who were different from her until she got to college.

“I started my own quest to understand my own bias that I brought from where I was raised and focusing on learning more about diversity and inclusion,” she said. “When I became dean, I brought in training opportunities for our faculty and staff around diversity and inclusion. As provost I worked really closely with the equity and diversity office to make sure programming was going. I did small things like meeting every semester with transgender students.”

When she officially takes on the role of provost, Gonzalez said she wants to help foster an environment where undergraduate students come into U of L and study their respective subjects while also learning their civic duty as citizens.

“That’s a personal passion of mine to make sure that students become more than whatever their discipline is because they’re going to be the ones to change our world for the better and I think the university has to give you the tools to know how to do that,” she said.

To specifically improve the student experience for U of L students, Gonzalez wants to work with Bendapudi to expand the experiential learning strategy that is under the “Great Place to Learn” component of the Strategic Plan. She believes focusing on this component will further help with cultivating civically engaged learners.

Gonzalez will begin serving as the EVPUP starting April 1.

Photo Courtesy // The University of Louisville 

The post The Cardinal interviews incoming University Provost, Lori Gonzalez appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

U of L selects next Provost Friday, Dec 4 2020 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville has selected Lori Stewart Gonzalez to serve as the new executive vice president and university provost (EVPUP).

Pending approval by the U of L Board of Trustees, Gonzalez will begin working on April 1, 2021, following current Provost and Executive Vice President Beth Boehm, who has served the role since 2018. Boehm will return to her position as Dean of the Graduate school.

Gonzalez currently serves as the vice chancellor for academic, faculty and student affairs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. U of L President Bendapudi cited her administrative experience in an email sent to the community on Gonzalez’s selection.

“As vice chancellor at the UT Health Science Center since 2015, she oversees the offices of academic, faculty, student and international affairs, education services, equity and diversity, community engagement and others,” Bendapudi said.  “As interim dean of the UT College of Health Professions, in 2016-17, she oversaw the departments of Audiology and Speech Pathology, Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Health Informatics and Information Management, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.”

Gonzalez’s other experience includes provost and executive chancellor at Appalachian State University, senior advisor to the senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina General Administration, and associate dean and then dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky.

EVPUP Search Committee chairs Gerry Bradley, dean of the School of Dentistry, and David Jenkings, dean of the Kent School of Social Work, conveyed that Gonzalez clearly stood out to the search committee and was a fantastic fit for U of L.

“She brings a breadth of leadership experience in academia and was the consensus choice across all campus constituencies. Dr. Gonzalez showed a clear and decisive commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion that fits perfectly with President Bendapudi’s strategic work in this area. And she was truly impressive in her interactions with students, faculty and staff. We look forward to welcoming her to the University of Louisville family,” both Bradley and Jenkings said.

Gonzalez is originally from Rockcastle County, Ky. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University, respectively. She earned her doctorate from the University of Florida Department of Speech.

Photo Courtesy of the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center

The post U of L selects next Provost appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Four finalists remain in U of L’s search for next Provost Wednesday, Dec 2 2020 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville has concluded its campus visits with finalists for the Executive Vice President and University Provost (EVPUP) position.

The finalists included four candidates who had to answer the open forum question: “Why Provost? Why now? Why U of L? How will you define short-term (1 year) and long-term (3-5 years) success as the next Executive Vice President and University Provost at the University of Louisville?” during their respective campus visits.

Finalist number one, Donald Hall, visited campus Oct. 26. He serves as the Dean of Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at the University of Rochester, located in Rochester, NY. In this role, Hall acts as the chief executive and academic officer of the largest academic unit on the University of Rochester’s campus and oversaw the largest fiscal entity of that university, aside from their medical center.

Finalist number two, Laurence Alexander, visited campus Nov. 5. He currently serves as the Chancellor, or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), where he provides leadership for the whole institution. As CEO, Alexander has broad responsibility for a wide range of operations, including leadership and articulation of UAPB’s mission and goals. Prior to this position, Alexander served as the Associate Dean at The Graduate School at the University of Florida for 13 years.

Finalist number three, Lynn Okagaki, visited campus Nov. 9. She is the current Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Delaware, located in Newark, DE. As a part of this role, she is a member of the Provost’s senior leadership team focused on academics. She is also responsible for academic enrichment programs to improve access, retention and graduation of all students, with a special emphasis on students from low income and historically under-represented groups.

Finalist number four, Lori Gonzalez, visited campus Nov. 12. She serves as the Vice Chancellor for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, in which she provides leadership and oversight for the offices of Academic Affairs, Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation, Equity and Diversity, Student Affairs and Community Engagement. She has previously worked as the Dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky from 2005-2011.

Further information about the candidates and access to the forum recordings can be found here.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

The post Four finalists remain in U of L’s search for next Provost appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.