Office of the Provost
I am writing to share leadership updates regarding the Neag School of Education and the Office of the Provost.
Over the past six months, a committee was charged with conducting a five-year review of Gladis Kersaint’s service as dean. I am grateful to the committee for its extremely thoughtful service to the School and to UConn.
Under Gladis’ leadership, the Neag School has made significant strides in many areas, including maintaining its rank as a top 20 public graduate school of education for five consecutive years; raising more than $10 million in gifts to support student scholarships and programs; diversifying the School’s faculty, staff, and students; implementing an inaugural faculty development program; expanding global education opportunities for Neag School students; advancing public engagement efforts with the Alliance School Districts, the 33 highest-need, most diverse school districts in Connecticut; increasing faculty public media engagements; and enhancing Neag School operational practices.
At the end of the review, I felt confident in reappointing Gladis as dean. She has provided strong leadership for the Neag School and would continue to do so going forward. However, her strengths as dean also overlap with needs in the Provost’s Office, which led us to consider possibilities for a new leadership role. I am pleased to share that as of March 1, Gladis will join our office as vice provost for strategic initiatives.
This transition will require multiple partners, particularly among the Neag School community. In the coming days I will seek guidance about an interim dean appointment. I will make this appointment at least two weeks before Gladis’ departure to ensure some overlap with her successor. This appointment will be followed by a full national search for a new dean. I will be in touch further with Neag School constituents early this spring to determine ideal timing and approach.
When we conducted vice provost searches last fall, we filled just one of the two open positions, given the budgetary uncertainty in the context of the pandemic. It was crucial at that time to prioritize fiscal responsibility; at the same time, it was clear to everyone in our office that we would need to consider an additional position in the future. Our current Provost’s Office team has been able to address the needs of our community, but with little bandwidth left to advance strategic initiatives.
Now that we have some budgetary relief in the form of state and federal support, we are in a position to bring in an accomplished leader like Gladis to help us make progress on strategic priorities. In this new role, she will have a broad and collaborative portfolio, with initial focus on leadership development programming, curriculum and accreditation, and support structures for academic deans and department heads in managing their myriad daily responsibilities.
I am grateful to Gladis for her leadership over the past five years and I am eager to begin working with her in this new capacity. The Neag School is well-positioned to attract top-caliber candidates to lead the School in its next phase of continued excellence. I look forward to engaging with the Neag School community about next steps in identifying new leadership, and welcome your comments any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs