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Provost - Open Dore E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

December 2020

Academic Affairs Highlights from the Fall 2020 Semester 

Dear colleagues,

Despite the incredible challenges the semester has brought, we must not forget to reflect on and celebrate our achievements and the progress we continue to make as we face these times together.

A small sampling of some of the fall 2020 semester accomplishments across Academic Affairs are bulleted below. We should be proud and heartened by our continued momentum in learning and discovery and by our amazing broad-based collaborative efforts in times like these.

With gratitude to the entire Vanderbilt community, we came together and anchored down and stepped up, all to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, postdocs and staff as much as possible. It’s an incredible accomplishment that we navigated the fall semester with no evidence of COVID transmissions within our classrooms and research spaces.

Our faculty were honored with many prestigious fellowships and appointments, and we moved forward on our commitments to a more diverse Vanderbilt and inclusive society. Vanderbilt research teams also made major contributions towards combating COVID-19.

We proudly opened our fourth residential college, reopened two historic buildings for Peabody College with transformative renovations and additions, and, thanks to a multi-million-dollar commitment from a prominent group of alumni and Owen School supporters, we are that much closer to the $20 million fundraising goal that will go toward the renovation and expansion of Management Hall.

Our collaborative spirit and One Vanderbilt approach has kept us on an upward trajectory, advancing our key pillars of research, scholarship and creative expression, a key testament to our resiliency.

In no particular order, there is much to applaud from the following list, and the countless other efforts for which there is not room here to account.

For a fuller list of accomplishments, click here for highlights from myVU stories. I know there were many other important achievements not captured here, and I am grateful for all of the hard work and dedication that every accomplishment represents.

As the fall 2020 semester has drawn to a close, I am optimistic about what the future will bring. I know the new year will present its own set of challenges, but each of you brings me hope. We are in this together, and I know we will persevere and discover new ways to advance our mission and help Vanderbilt reach new heights in 2021.

Wishing all of you a safe and peaceful winter break.


Susan R. Wente

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs


Faculty Return to Campus

Staff Return to Campus

Research Ramp-up 

Faculty Adaptive Teaching Resources

Case Dashboard

Occupational Health 

Public Health Command Center 

Stay in the Loop!

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André Christie-Mizell named vice provost for graduate education and dean of Vanderbilt’s Graduate School

Esteemed sociologist and child and adolescent psychologist Christie-Mizell will begin his new role on Jan. 1, 2021, pending Board of Trust approval. Read more here.

70 Vanderbilt Strong Faculty Grants awarded to date; applications still being accepted

The initiative has funded 70 rapid-response and gap grants with applicants across five schools and colleges following the opening of the grant application portal in October. Applications for funding are still being accepted. More here.

New reading days on spring academic calendar to promote student well-being

The Office of the Provost has approved four additional in-class reading days for the spring 2021 semester to encourage self-care and avoid burnout during these extraordinary times. More here.

Deans’ Diversity Designates to serve as liaisons to Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence

The deans of Vanderbilt’s 10 colleges and schools each have named liaisons to work directly with the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence. These Deans’ Diversity Designates will serve as advocates for inclusive excellence as well as equity, diversity and inclusion-related initiatives at their respective schools and in their specific areas across the Vanderbilt campus. More here.


Being Thankful – November 2020

Restructure and Recharge to Ensure Success – October 2020

Keeping an Eye on our Strategic Priorities – September 2020

Leading Through Research – May 2020

Center for Teaching Supports Faculty – April 2020

Office of the Provost  |  vanderbilt.edu/provost

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