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Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to announce some changes in the Provost’s Office. First, I am pleased to appoint Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Communication Gerald (Jerry) Baldasty as senior vice provost for academic and student affairs, effective August 1, 2012. This is a new position, reflecting our interest in enhancing the student experience at the UW for all students—undergraduate, graduate, and professional. Tremendous changes in technology, demographics, and student learning styles require us to think more creatively about our approach to teaching and learning, and Jerry is well prepared to lead our work.

A native of Spokane, Jerry has been a Husky for more than 40 years—as an undergraduate, graduate student, faculty member, and vice provost and dean. He received his B.A. from the UW in Communications in 1972, a master’s in Mass Communications from the other UW, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and then returned here to earn his Ph.D. in Communications in 1978. He joined our faculty that year and subsequently served as chair of the Department of Communication from 2002 to 2008. In 2008, he became interim vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, and then vice provost and dean in 2009. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of American Ethnic Studies, and in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies.

His scholarly work focuses on U.S. communication history in the 19th and early 20th centuries, with an emphasis on political communication and on media economics. His books include The Commercialization of News in the 19th Century (University of Wisconsin Press, 1992), E.W. Scripps and the Business of Newspapers (University of Illinois Press, 1999), and Vigilante Newspapers: A Tale of Sex, Religion and Murder in the Northwest (University of Washington Press, 2005).

In 2000, Jerry won a UW Distinguished Teaching Award, and he has served as Director of the Teaching Academy. He chaired the 2005 committee to “Improve the Quality of the UW Undergraduate Experience,” and has been extensively involved in diversity initiatives and professional development work as dean of the Graduate School. He remembers well, and values, his undergraduate education at UW, where he was involved in his department’s honors program, learned critical thinking and research skills, enriched his class learning through internships, and benefited from strong faculty mentorship. This experience, coupled with his own UW record in research, teaching and collaborative leadership, make him the right choice for our new position of senior vice provost for academic and student affairs. Please join me in welcoming him to this new and important position.

I also want to inform you that Doug Wadden, Executive Vice Provost since 2008, will be leaving that position effective December 31, 2012. Doug has been a faculty member at the UW since 1970 and for many years served as chair of the Design program in our School of Art. He served as Interim Provost this past year. Doug has had a long and distinguished career as a member of our faculty and as a faculty leader, serving on numerous university committees, being elected chair of the Faculty Senate, and accepting various administrative assignments throughout his career. His work in the Provost’s Office has been outstanding, and he has worked hard to be a resource for our academic programs and an enabler for our faculty to innovate and excel. He will be taking a well-earned professional leave and will return to the faculty at its conclusion. Please join me in thanking him for his dedicated and superb work on behalf of our University.


Image of Ana Mari Cauce's signature

Ana Mari Cauce
Provost and Executive Vice President