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New Provost Tom Stephenson

By Carol Brévart-Demm


James H. Hammons Professor of Chemistry Thomas Stephenson was recently appointed by President Rebecca Chopp on the recommendation of the faculty to be the next provost of the College. On July 1, he will succeed Mari S. Michener Professor of Art History Constance Hungerford, who has held the position for 10 years. Hungerford, an expert in 19th-century French painting, will return to full-time teaching.

A faculty member since 1985 and a former chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Stephenson has served as associate provost for information technology at the College as well as on the Council on Educational Policy, the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Faculty Procedures Committee (on which he will also serve as provost), and the Ad Hoc Financial Planning Committee, among others.

As principal academic officer of the College, Stephenson will be responsible for overseeing the curriculum and the faculty. All the academic departments, the library, athletics department, and information and technology services will report to him. He will chair the Council on Educational Policy and the Curriculum Committee and work with the academic departments on appointments, promotions, and academic program budgets.

“My role will be to provide structure, encouragement, and support for faculty and the academic program, and then get out of the way,” Stephenson says. “In addition, I’m sure that the strategic planning process will result in new directions and initiatives in the academic program. Leading the efforts to implement them will be a major focus of my work over the next few years.”

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