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Office of the Provost

Office of the Provost

Provost’s Office Monthly – November 2022

Message from the Provost

I hope this message finds everyone well-rested and energized for the end of semester after the Thanksgiving break!

As you’ll know from President Maric’s announcement yesterday, she has appointed me as Provost, and I’m grateful for the trust that she and the Board of Trustees have placed in me. Since taking up the position on an interim basis six months ago, I’ve come to have an even greater appreciation for the talent and dedication of our faculty and staff and the potential of our amazing students across every field. We’ve experienced many challenges and transitions together over the past few years, and one of my primary goals is to create a stable institutional environment so that we can fully achieve our dynamic and innovative potential across our teaching, research, and engagement missions. I’m looking forward to working with each of you to make UConn – and the world beyond our campuses – a better place.

The focus of our Provost’s Office newsletter this month is student success.  Simply put, student success is a measure of how our students are growing and thriving in every dimension of their experience at UConn. They are succeeding academically, making steady progress toward completing their degrees, and attaining knowledge and skills that will enable them to be life-long learners and launch satisfying and successful careers. They are forming friendships, finding mentors, and growing in their capacity to understand, respect, and embrace the many dimensions of our diversity. They are learning how to cultivate their own wellbeing, emotionally, physically and financially, which serves as a foundation for those complex and challenging academic and social experiences.  And they are giving back to their communities – they are growing in responsibility, purpose, and leadership and driving change both on campus and off.

We have many qualitative and quantitative metrics for measuring students’ academic success. These include retention and graduation rates, DFW rates (the aggregate rate of students with D or F grades, or that withdraw from classes), the number of students on academic probation, survey data where students self-report on their experiences, and post-graduation data such as employment outcomes, return on investment, and economic mobility.

Much of the data shows that UConn students are experiencing high levels of success in many dimensions, including an average time to degree of 4.1 years that is the best in the nation among public universities.

At the same time, there are several areas in which worrying data trends have been emerging. These trends predate the pandemic but appear to have been exacerbated and accelerated by pandemic impacts. In some cases, our overall data does not ring alarm bells, but when we disaggregate by factors such as race and ethnicity, income status, first-generation status, and gender, we can see that we are not creating equal pathways to academic success for all our students.

As provost, I take responsibility for leading change so that we reverse these trends and close outcome gaps based on student demographics. But this work will take all of us. Student success is often seen as a “wicked problem” of higher education, and as such, there is no one single solution. The work will touch on many different areas and is an area of intense focus for the Provost’s Office.

In future newsletters, I will share spotlights and details of some of the work across UConn that support student success, including that of undergraduate advising and the Institute for Student Success. Today I want to begin by highlighting two projects led by the Provost’s Office. One is our Life-Transformative Education initiative, dedicated to ensuring we develop the identity, agency, and purpose of every student with a focus on their post-graduation success. The other is our assessment initiative, which will create a framework for academic programs to understand strengths and areas for improvement in relation to student learning. I also want to highlight a working group that has been creating resources for pregnant and parenting students. This has resulted in a new website and some guidelines that I hope you will all find helpful.

This problem is not confined to UConn. Earlier this month I attended the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU) annual meeting. At this meeting, higher education leaders from across the nation shared challenges they are facing and the strategies they are implementing to better support student success, especially among minoritized students who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. I had the opportunity to participate on a panel related to honors education and showcase some of the initiatives our Honor’s program undertakes to fosters high-level achievement. Some of the ideas being discussed in this national context are exciting, and we are moving discussions forward in several projects that you’ll hear more about in the next few months.

This is a vital time for us to come together and support our students, particularly as we look to mitigate and erase some of the growth in inequities caused by the pandemic. Research has clearly demonstrated that a caring and engaged faculty and staff has a powerful positive effect on student retention and achievement. I hope you’ll be joining me in finding your role in this work.

All best,

Anne D’Alleva
Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Academic Updates & Reminders

New Gen-Ed Common Curriculum Guidelines and Implementation

At a special meeting of the University Senate on Monday, November 14, 2022, the Implementation Guidelines for the Common Curriculum for Leadership and Global Citizenship and related Senate by-law amendments were approved.  This was the last approval step in a multi-year project to re-envision a general education curriculum that reflects our commitments to be forward-looking, responsive to students, increasingly flexible while maintaining high scholarly standards. The new curriculum offers relevant, challenging coursework that empowers students with a strong sense of moral, ethical, and social responsibility and the capacity to be proactive in a world that desperately needs them. The new curriculum will roll out in Fall 2025.

Faculty Compensation Policy

The University replaced the “Policy on Extra Compensation for Full-Time Faculty in AAUP” with the revised “Faculty Compensation Policy” effective November 11, 2022. This policy establishes the standards under which regular payroll faculty may receive compensation from the University or external entities. This applies to all regular payroll faculty excluding UConn Health, and covers regular compensation, summer salary, overload pay, and payments for prizes and awards.

Life Transformative Education

The Life Transformative Education Initiative continues to find ways to embed the guiding principles of LTE into the life and culture of our students. LTE is a framework to support the development of identity, agency, and purpose for all UConn students. In this work, we are part of the national Coalition for Life Transformative Education, focused on embedding long-term outcomes into our work on student success.

The guiding principles of Life Transformative Education at UConn are to:

  1. Create (and celebrate) initiatives and programming that promotes the development of agency, identity, and purpose.
  2. Create coursework, programs, and initiatives within an inclusive and equitable framework.
  3. Foster meaningful relationships and emotionally supportive advising and mentoring.
  4. Infuse curriculum with authentic experiential learning opportunities and real-world problem solving.
  5. Ensure that LTE programming (coursework, experiential/service learning) and support is available to each UConn student.
  6. Provide an environment in all facets of programming that welcomes diversity, encourages participation, and centers collaboration.

In practice, this work has been manifested in four ways:

  • Annual Cultivate workshops to engage faculty and staff around the University into the work of the initiative. The next Cultivate workshop will be held on March 2, 2023, featuring keynote speaker Christina Katopodis, Associate Director of Transformative Learning in the Humanities, CUNY. She will frame a set of group discussions around radical optimism in the classroom (and beyond) and will deliver specific strategies to guide this work. Details for sign up will be in the next newsletter.
  • An ongoing speaker series that highlights internal work in line with the LTE guiding principles, and which showcases external speakers to bring a range of inspiration to our work. Details can be found on our website.
  • Multiple “design sprints,” initially with external partners The Design Gym, and now in partnership with UConn’s Greenhouse Studios. These lead project teams through a process to “scale up” and further develop existing experiential learning opportunities at UConn. More details will follow on current projects, which include embedding career competencies for students in campus jobs & internships and imagining curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students to discover their purpose.
  • A series of workshops (launching early in 2023) to engage instructors across UConn in inclusive learning. These will focus on actionable strategies to close equity gaps, foster belonging in the classroom, and to ensure all students have a pathway to academic success. These workshops will draw on foundations from early LTE working groups, particularly that of the authentic & inclusive learning group.

Beyond these key elements, the LTE initiative also partners with broader conversations as we work to build LTE as the foundation for all engagement and education of students at UConn. This includes a strong partnership with University Advising, the Institute for Student Success, and the Office of Outreach and Engagement.


At the University of Connecticut, we are all committed to ensuring we are providing all UConn students with the most effective educational programs possible. Program-level assessment work focuses on improvement by first identifying what students should be learning (program-level student learning objectives). Data can then be gathered to understand student outcomes in relation to these learning objectives. This allows programs to identify what is currently working, and where changes might be needed. In many cases, these efforts will be building on work that is already happening.

The Office for Academic Program Assessment (OAPA) leads this work in collaboration with the faculty-led University Student Learning Assessment Committee (USLAC). Our goal is to develop a robust culture of assessment at the University of Connecticut. In particular, we want assessment work at UConn to pay careful attention to achievement gaps that are visible when outcomes data is disaggregated. Throughout this data-driven process, we will be supporting departments as they develop and refine their programmatic student learning outcomes, create appropriate instruments for assessing how effective they are in achieving these outcomes, and ensure an inclusive approach to these efforts, sensitive to the diverse backgrounds and needs of all our students.

Over the next two years, all undergraduate programs that are not assessed through programmatic accreditation will develop learning outcomes, a curricular map for these outcomes, and an ongoing, manageable engagement in a cycle of assessment activities. The schedule for this process has been developed by OAPA and USLAC in consultation with our deans.

If you are in a program entering into the assessment cycle you can expect ongoing, centralized support from the staff and faculty fellows in OAPA. As academic programs work their way through this process, we encourage them to leverage the opportunity to engage in real, meaningful conversations about what they expect their students to learn within their programs.

An assessment software module that is part of the Blackboard (HuskyCT) system is being implemented and will be available—on a fully optional basis—to facilitate this work. Academic programs are free choose other means for building their assessment infrastructure and capturing the relevant data.

Further information related to the assessment initiative is available online here.

If you are interested in issues of equity and inclusion related to assessment, we encourage you to look at the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) framework on Equity in Assessment. This has been a central guide in our overall plan for our UConn assessment initiative. You can look at this framework and a range of resources to begin thinking about what equity in assessment might mean for your unit here.

Resources for Pregnant or Parenting Students

We know that the past two years have presented enormous challenges for us all. It has been made clear that the boundaries between our professional/academic and our personal lives are more porous than we had previously acknowledged. To this end, we encourage our faculty and staff to be open to potentially difficult conversations for our students who are balancing these responsibilities.

We want to share a new website that is available for students who are pregnant and/or have parenting responsibilities. This website will help students discover and navigate resources available to them, This site was developed by a committee of UConn community members from across the University.

We have heard from pregnant and parenting students that they often feel isolated, have limited information about supports available, and are reluctant to discuss their concerns for fear of being stigmatized or having their commitment to their academic goals questioned. Faculty and staff who interact with these students have a unique opportunity to foster a more welcoming and supportive environment for them.

Some tips for this include:

  • Let students know you are open to them sharing their concerns about navigating family and academic responsibilities.
  • Be familiar with the resources available to pregnant and parenting students, many of which can be found at
  • There is also good information here, relevant to all members of the UConn community, including childcare providers, and lactation spaces on all campuses.
  • Be mindful of messages based on unconscious bias that your department might be sending about a student who is pregnant and/or parenting. Do not treat expectant/parenting students differently from those without children. Rather, encourage all your students to protect time for outside interests and responsibilities.
  • Be sure to allow adequate time and space for those who are lactating.
  • If a student requires an accommodation related to a pregnancy, refer them to the Center for Students with Disabilities at 860-486-2020 or
  • If a student feels they have experienced discrimination or harassment due to pregnancy or other sex-based conduct, refer them to the Office of Institutional Equity at 860-486-2943 or
  • If a student needs to be connected to resources and to consider impacts and support related to their academics, faculty and staff can refer Storrs undergraduate students to the Dean of Students Office at 860-486-3426 or Graduate students can be referred to The Graduate School at Regional campus students can be referred to the Student Services staff on their home campus.

We should strive to be fair, equitable, objective, and empathetic when receiving requests for flexibility. We encourage faculty and staff to extend these same considerations to our pregnant and/or parenting students as we enter this and future academic years.

2022 Undergraduate First Destination Outcomes

The Center for Career Development (CCD) has released the 2022 Undergraduate First Destination Outcomes which indicates that 90% of the 2022 graduating class have reported favorable outcomes at the six-month post graduation milestone. The full outcomes report will be available on the CCD website on December 15th.

Winter Weather Reminders

With the winter storm season upon us, we’d like to refresh your knowledge about operations at UConn’s Storrs and regional campuses during inclement weather.

For those of you who are new to the UConn community, these details will be helpful to understand the University’s decision-making processes before and during unusual weather conditions or other unexpected changes in class schedules and business operations.

First and foremost, the safety of our students, faculty, and staff is paramount. At the same time, the University has important teaching, research, and service missions to carry out. We balance these factors when considering whether the University can safely and effectively maintain normal operations during and after inclement weather or other unusual events.

With that in mind, we make decisions about cancelling classes or curbing business operations at our campuses very carefully, using the information available to us at the time about weather forecasts, road conditions, and other considerations.

UConn Alerts

One of the most important steps you can take right now as a member of the UConn community is to sign up to receive text message notifications on your cell phone about schedule changes, cancellations, emergencies, and other important information.

The process is quick and easy, and signing up is free. Instructions can be found under the “Get Alerts” section of the UConnALERT page. Even if you believe you are already signed up, it’s wise to check to ensure that the system reflects your most current cell phone number and other contact information.

We encourage you to review the University’s policy for details about how these decisions are made, expectations of employees, and other information.

The following guidance applies to all UConn locations except UConn Health, which has its own relevant policies.

How you’ll know UConn’s status:

  • When we determine it is necessary to cancel or delay classes, or to change business operations at the University, we’ll notify the UConn community as quickly as possible.
  • When storms occur overnight, we try to make this notification by 5 a.m. Sometimes conditions change rapidly, however, and we might need to adjust decisions about class schedules and business operations on short notice.
  • The UConnALERT webpage ( is the definitive source of information about the University’s operating status.
  • UConn community members at all locations, excluding UConn Health, can also check the 24-hour emergency closing information number: 860-486-3768.
  • The University notifies the media about operating changes at UConn’s campuses, but we cannot guarantee that details provided by news outlets represent the most current or complete information.

What stays open, what might change:

  • If classes are cancelled, this applies to all classes -- including those online.
  • UConn follows suit if the Governor closes state agencies, releases state employees from work, or restricts road travel due to weather conditions.
  • Certain essential operations continue despite inclement weather, including public safety, residential and dining services, health services, animal care, facility maintenance, and other critical services.
  • Decisions about whether to continue or cancel specific services, such as transportation, are made on a case-by-case basis depending on existing conditions and needs.
  • The Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, UConn Athletics, and other units that sponsor events and activities decide independently whether to continue or cancel their events, and you should contact them directly with questions.

Academic operations:

  • If the University has not announced a delay or cancellation of classes, faculty are expected to hold their classes as scheduled in the modality originally advertised.
  • In circumstances when a faculty member determines that they cannot travel safely to campus, the faculty member must notify all students in the class in a timely manner along with their dean and department head.
  • Faculty must not preemptively cancel class before the University decides and announces whether UConn’s normal schedule will be changed.
  • Students should contact their professors as soon as possible if they must miss a class or other activity due to weather conditions.
  • Faculty should respect the decisions of commuting students who decide not to travel to campus or to leave class early to get home safely, and should provide options for them to make up missed work.

Keep safety first:

  • Always consider your safety first. Weather and road conditions may vary considerably across the state and from one UConn campus to another.
  • With that in mind, all members of the University community should evaluate the circumstances they face, plan extra time for their commute if necessary, and take other common-sense measures.
  • Employees and students are reminded to be particularly vigilant while driving or walking on campus during inclement weather, including around vehicles conducting plowing and sanding activities. Remember that pedestrians always have the right of way.

Who reports to campus, and when:

  • Emergency and essential staff must remain at, or report to, in-person work as directed. Supervisors must learn and follow their units’ related procedures. UConn’s policy and guidance on the Human Resources site are helpful in understanding these expectations.
  • Employees who decide not to come to campus or to leave campus early due to travel safety concerns may use a vacation day, personal time, or other accrued time without advance approval, but must notify their supervisors that they are doing so.
  • If approved by their supervisor, they may also be able to work remotely.
  • For typically in-person employees: If UConn directs those employees not to report to campus due to weather or other operational changes, they are expected to work from home unless they have a manager-approved flexible schedule or use accrued time (i.e., vacation or personal time).
  • Supervisors are encouraged to consider difficulties that storms may cause for employees, such as electrical or internet outages.
  • All employees working remotely are expected to be accessible and responsive to supervisors during work hours by email and telephone. Supervisors may expect that assigned work that can be accomplished remotely is completed on time.
  • Employees on an approved telecommuting or remote work schedule should continue to work that schedule unless they receive approval to flex their time that day.
  • Supervisors may make reasonable adjustments to continue University business, including holding meetings by teleconference or virtually; and employees who would normally be present at work may be required to participate.

Again, we wish to emphasize the paramount importance of safety. Faculty, staff, and students should evaluate their own circumstances carefully, exercise appropriate judgment, and take responsibility for their safety when making decisions during inclement weather and other operational changes to emergency situations at UConn Storrs and regional campuses.

Reading Days

Reading Days are Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11, and Thursday, December 15. Per the University Senate By-Laws, the intent of Reading Days is as follows:

Reading Days are protected time for students to prepare for the final exam and assessment period. Instructors shall not require any course-related activity, assessment, or submission of work on Reading Days. Instructors may use Reading Days for optional activities, such as office hours. While an instructor cannot initiate required course-related activity, assessments, or submission of work on Reading Days, instructors have the option to accommodate student requests for required work and/or examinations to be rescheduled for a Reading Day. Reading Days restrictions do not include responsibilities with external placements, such as clinical positions and internships.

Final Exams

Final exams begin on Monday, December 12 and end on Sunday, December 18.

In very limited instances, undergraduate students may request rescheduling for an exam. They must make such a request through the Dean of Students Office for the Storrs campus or each regional campus student services office, and as early as possible. The reasons for such a request include “bunched” finals and immediate illness. A student whose absence is excused by the Dean of Students Office or regional student services staff shall have an opportunity to take a final without penalty. Please consult the Dean of Students website and the Registrar’s website for further detail.

***Please note, the above does not apply to the School of Law, School of Medicine, or School of Dental Medicine.***

News & Updates

Appointment of Director of UConn Waterbury Campus

Dr. Fumiko Hoeft has been appointed as the next director of UConn Waterbury. Selected from a talented pool of applicants, Dr. Hoeft has demonstrated a commitment to student success in academics and beyond and has shared an exciting vision for the future of the UConn Waterbury campus and its connections with the wider Waterbury community. Dr. Hoeft is a prolific researcher and an exemplary member of the UConn community. Dr. Hoeft joined UConn in 2018 as director of BIRC and professor of psychological sciences. In addition to her appointment as professor of psychological sciences, she also holds appointments as professor of computer science, mathematics, neuroscience, psychiatry, pediatrics, and educational psychology at UConn.

UConn Reads

UConn Reads is a stimulating program that invites all members of the extended UConn community (students, staff members, faculty members, alumni, friends) to join in an engaging discussion about a book that has been selected to spark multidisciplinary conversations, critical debates, and an array of supporting activities. The program is being orchestrated by the Office of the Provost, and the book selected for this year’s program is “Light from Uncommon Stars," by Ryka Aoki.

Interfolio Information Session Recording & Future Opportunities

On November 15, the Provost’s Office hosted a virtual information session to provide an overview of the purchase of Interfolio’s Review, Promotion and Tenure and Dossier Modules. A recording of the information session and details about additional opportunities to learn more about the system and our roll out are available on the Interfolio @ UConn webpage.

Dean of the School of Nursing Search

A national search is underway to identify candidates for the next Dean of the School of Nursing. This searched is chaired by Jason Irizarry, Dean of the Neag School of Education and Professor of Curriculum and Instruction. Applications are being collected through January 17, 2023.

Dean of the School of Social Work Search

A national search is underway to identify candidates for the next Dean of the School of Social Work. The search is chaired by Kent Holsinger, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Listening Sessions took place earlier this month and applications will be open in the coming weeks.

Marissa Greenberg Post-Event Summary

On November 9 and 10, the Office of the Provost, in partnership with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and the UConn Humanities Institute, hosted Dr. Marissa Greenberg, Associate Professor of English at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Greenberg was invited to teach the UConn community about an approach that she has been developing to create a more active and inclusive pedagogy, drawing on the practice of caucusing that has emerged as a powerful tool in anti-racist efforts in political and labor contexts.

In a public presentation, followed by two hands-on workshops, one for faculty and one for graduate assistants, Dr. Greenberg demonstrated the value of this approach in shifting our pedagogical orientation from a deficit mindset to an asset mindset. By providing them with opportunities to engage in discussions within this context of affinity-based caucuses, students come to see how their own embodied, lived experiences can lead them to powerful, critical insights into materials that might otherwise seem distant and alien to them.

Highlighting Interdisciplinary Scholarship at UConn

UConn’s Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) brings together individuals with diverse scientific, clinical, and methodological expertise and supports their evolution into collaborative investigators who conduct innovative interdisciplinary research that impacts public health and well-being. At its core, InCHIP and its investigators aim to improve human health through research. But human health does not exist in a vacuum -- it reflects myriad processes and mechanisms at levels ranging from the molecular to the political. To truly improve the condition of human health requires us to acknowledge this complexity, embrace the need for collaboration across fields of research, and encourage creative approaches that unearth and leverage mechanisms that tip the scales.

InCHIP began as an HIV-focused research center within Psychological Sciences and has since grown into a multidisciplinary research center broadly focused on health. InCHIP has over 150 core faculty and student investigators from across UConn and a network of over 600 health researchers worldwide. InCHIP is home to four research centers: Collaboratory on School and Child Health; UConn Center for Advancing Research, Methods, and Scholarship in Gun Injury Prevention; UConn Center for mHealth and Social MediaUConn Rudd Center on Food Policy and Health. InCHIP is also host to nine Research Interests Groups focused on topics ranging from obesity to pregnancy to interprofessional healthcare.

InCHIP investigators work collaboratively across UConn departments, colleges, and campuses around common health-related interests. InCHIP centers collaboration across disciplines is pivotal to meeting the goal of improving health. ‘Interdisciplinarity’ research reflects a lot of hard work to translate, concede and articulate assumptions, and delve into new directions. To be successful, health (especially public health) research and initiatives require researchers who carry different lenses to work together around shared goals.

An example of how successful collaboration can look lies in one of InCHIP’s areas of strength – HIV prevention and treatment. Medical researchers have worked in laboratories and clinics for the last 30 years to develop new and better HIV treatment and prevention solutions that can prevent lives lost and improve the quality of life for those living with HIV. But due to HIV-related stigma and often the intersecting stigmas associated with poverty, racism, gender identity, and sexuality, these medical solutions may never become widely used by the people who stand to benefit the most from them. By working with researchers who specialize in stigma, human behavior, communication, and social determinants of health, teams can work together to improve the accessibility and uptake of these life-saving drugs and ultimately curb the spread of HIV.

How to Connect with InCHIP:

  • Learn More: Faculty and students interested in or working in human health are encouraged to check out our website:
  • Join the InCHIP Network: We encourage anyone interested to join our network here. By joining InCHIP’s network, faculty and students will be the first to learn about InCHIP’s lectures and workshops, services, and resources and connect around shared interests with fellow researchers.
  • Access Resources and Services: We offer many resources to develop and support health research ranging from the development of nascent project ideas to processing and submitting grant proposals and beyond – you can learn more about those services here. Our services are available free of charge to UConn faculty and students.

News & Events:

  • Annual ReportTo get a better sense of the work we do and the research of our investigators, check out our annual report.
  • Internal funding opportunities: InCHIP offers funding for faculty and students working in areas related to human health. To learn more about this year’s seed grant programs, click here.
  • InCHIP Lecture Series: InCHIP hosts lectures each academic year that feature investigators from around the world working in human health. Upcoming speakers will address gun violence prevention, HIV and substance use, and global health. To learn more about upcoming lectures and RSVP, click here. To view past lectures, visit our YouTube page.
  • Two New Graduate Certificates: Working in collaboration with departments and colleges across UConn, InCHIP recently developed two graduate certificates in Global Health and Interdisciplinary approaches to Obesity Prevention and Weight Management. These certificates will launch next semester. If you are interested in either, please reach out to Greidy Miralles at

Academic Affairs Spotlight

Senior Vice Provost Jeffrey ShoulsonThe Office of the Provost and the units that report in academic affairs are staffed and led by an outstanding group of talented and dedicated colleagues. This month we are spotlighting Jeffrey Shoulson, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

In Jeffrey's role, he supervises academic program development, review, and accreditation across all units. In collaboration with the schools, colleges, and University Senate, he manages academic curricular standards and adjudicates appeals that come before the Office of the Provost. He also administers the Promotion, Tenure, and Reappointment processes for all UConn faculty.

Before moving into the Office of the Provost, Shoulson was Director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life and held the Doris and Simon Konover Chair in Jewish Studies. He is Professor of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages and Professor of English, and has affiliations with the Medieval Studies Program and the Middle East Studies Program.

A scholar of early modern literature and culture, his research focuses on intellectual, cultural, and literary encounters between Jews and Christians in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His books include Milton and the Rabbis: Hellenism, Hebraism, and Christianity (Columbia UP, 2001); Hebraica Veritas? Christian Hebraists and the Study of Judaism in Early Modern Europe (U Penn P, 2004); and Fictions of Conversion: Jews, Christians, and Cultures of Change in Early Modern England (U Penn P, 2013).

Q: What does a typical work week look like for you?

A: There’s no such thing as a typical work week in the Provost’s office! My days and weeks are shaped by the academic calendar and other annual cycles that determine our workflow. Much of what I do takes the form of meetings, some in person, some online. These meetings often include folks from across the institution and one of the pleasures of my job has been getting to know and work with so many knowledgeable and dedicated people in so many different units. On any given day I might meet with departmental, school, or college leaders to work on various academic initiatives; representative faculty to develop programs or address institutional needs; administrative staff to refine our operational infrastructure; or folks from outside of UConn with whom we are collaborating or partnering to broaden our institutional reach.

Q: What is an important project/initiative you’re working on right now?

A: Since the PTR/PR process is one of my primary responsibilities, I am always looking for ways to ensure that it functions as consistently, equitably, and fairly as possible. Our faculty deserve nothing less. We’ve been working with our deans and department heads to ensure there is clarity and transparency around expectations and standards. We’re currently in the midst of implementing a new digital platform that will help us manage the process consistently and, we hope, with fewer administrative burdens on all involved. And I am working with colleagues in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to strengthen our work around equity, inclusion, and justice in these processes. These are ongoing efforts, and they sit at the heart of our commitment to academic excellence and fairness.

Q: If you could solve one problem at UConn right now, what would it be?

A: For the last several years, I’ve been working with an array of institutional partners to address the serious challenge of food insecurity, in particular on our regional campuses. Put simply, students who can’t rely on regular access to affordable, nutritious food are much less likely to succeed academically and to take full advantage of all the wonderful opportunities we have at UConn. If I could solve one problem right now, it would be the ongoing presence of food insecurity amongst our students, not only on the regional campuses, but also at Storrs; not only amongst our undergraduate population, but also for our graduate and professional students, where these problems are also far more prevalent than they should be.

Q: What is your favorite UConn sports moment?

A: I am a big UConn basketball fan, both women’s and men’s teams. My arrival at UConn a little over ten years ago coincided with that amazing streak of consecutive championships by the women’s team and the miraculous year UConn won both the men’s and the women’s titles (2014). But my love for the team began back in 1990 when I had the chance to see the men’s team play in a regional semi-finals game at the Brendan Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands against Clemson. Scotty Burrell hit Tate George for a full-court pass that he converted for the game-winning shot with one second on the clock. It remains the most exciting sporting event I have ever witnessed in person and has made me a Husky basketball fan for life. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth 40 seconds of your time at this link!

Important Dates, Deadlines & Events

November 30: Town Halls on Student Fees
December 1: Reaffirming UConn's Commitment to Diversity in Admissions: UConn's Response to the U.S. Supreme Court Cases (SFFA v. Harvard/UNC)
December 9: Last day of fall semester classes
December 10 & December 11: Reading Days
December 12: Final examinations begin
December 15: Reading Day
December 18: Final examinations end
December 21: Semester Grades Due

Reaffirming UConn's Commitment to Diversity in Admissions
UConn's Response to the U.S. Supreme Court Cases (SFFA v. Harvard/UNC)

Please join us for a presentation and panel discussion on the impending decisions of the Supreme Court on the SFFA v. Harvard/UNC cases. University leaders and scholars in the areas of admissions and diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education will share insights on the issues at hand and anticipated decisions, how the outcome may affect UConn, and how we plan to respond. View the event flyer.

Provost Office Awards

The Provost Office facilitates the following awards: Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Award, Provost’s Outstanding Service Award, Provost’s Award for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship, and Alumni Faculty Excellence Awards.

Nominations for these awards are now open. Visit our website for details on nomination materials, deadlines, and past winners.