Lisa Smulyan '76 Begins Term as Associate Provost

Carol Brevart-Demm

Lisa Smulyan '76 Begins
Term as Associate Provost 

by Carol Brévart-Demm
07/10/2008

This month, Professor Lisa Smulyan '76 stepped back from her position as chair of the Department of Educational Studies to become associate provost of the College. Nominated last fall and selected for the position by a faculty committee appointed by the Committee on Faculty Procedures, Smulyan is devoting three fifths of her work time to her new duties and reducing her teaching load to one course each semester for the duration of her three-year tenure. 

Lisa Smulyan '76

Lisa Smulyan '76/>

Smulyan's new duties are many and varied. The associate provost is responsible for the orientation of new faculty members and serves as coordinator for department reviews, reviews of interdisciplinary programs, and organizing faculty lunches and lectures. Smulyan assists Provost Connie Hungerford in seeking Cornell Visiting Professors, Mellon Faculty Fellows, and candidates for the Consortium for a Diverse Faculty. She represents the provost on committees, including the Budget and the Faculty-Staff Benefits committees.

"There's also some latitude for the associate provost to choose a further project, and I've been talking with Connie about implementing some follow-up mentoring with second- and third-year faculty members. Faculty orientation is for first-year faculty only, and we've talked about providing more support for people through the tenure process," Smulyan says.

Besides keeping a space in the Education Department, Smulyan now also has an office on the second floor of Parrish Hall.

An alumna of the College and a faculty member for 22 years, Smulyan has always been interested in the "bigger picture" of the College. "With this position, I can obtain some of that picture and be involved in the life of the College in a different way," she says.

She believes that some of her activities at Swarthmore - including mentoring in her own and other departments and working with the Mellon Grant Program and the Council on Educational Policy - have prepared her well for the new position. She has also consulted with outgoing associate provost Associate Professor of Sociology Sarah Willie, who has "downloaded her brain into mine," Smulyan says.