Ana Mari Cauce, Earl R. Carlson professor and chair of the Department of Psychology, has been named to the newly created position of executive vice provost at the UW. In that position, Cauce will serve as chief academic deputy to Provost Phyllis Wise and will be responsible for providing leadership and administration of universitywide policies and programs that foster academic excellence.
Wise has been thinking about and seeking input on how best to organize her office since her arrival at the UW Aug. 1. She said she created the position after surveying the organizational charts of other Research I universities and finding that many had an equivalent position.
“When you hire someone from outside for a role like provost, there are advantages and disadvantages,” she said. “The advantage is, you get someone who doesn’t have a history with the institution and is open to new ideas that maybe haven’t been considered. The disadvantage is, the person can’t possibly get up to speed as rapidly as you want them to.
“I think this is an incredibly wonderful time in the University’s history. We’re moving forward quickly on a number of things — creating a vision statement, implementing the Leadership, Community and Values initiative, enhancing the undergraduate experience, continuing to make progress on increasing the diversity of our faculty, staff and students, increasing the globalization of all our activities, and enhancing the interdisciplinarity of our teaching and research. I will take a leadership role in all these initiatives and I don’t want to make unnecessary mistakes. Ana Mari is a respected campus leader and has been here for many years. She’s been a leader in education as well as research. I think with her help I can better take advantage of the moment we have.”
Cauce said she was excited to be offered the position. “I love this place. I’ve seen how the work we do helps transform students’ lives. So when offered the opportunity to provide service at the universitywide level, I couldn’t say no.”
A faculty member since 1986, Cauce said she didn’t generally think of herself as an administrator, but noted that she has been involved in administration for 15 years, starting with a stint as director of clinical training in psychology. In addition to chairing psychology, she has chaired the American Ethnic Studies Department and the Honors Program.
“You know, it’s funny,” she said, “we’re not supposed to like administration, but I find it incredibly rewarding. You do many of the same things faculty do but on a broader scale.”
In addition to the UW, Cauce has taught at the University of Delaware. She earned her BA in psychology and English from the University of Miami, and her masters and doctoral degrees in psychology at Yale University. The focus of her research has been on resilience processes among at-risk youth. In 1999 she was honored with a Distinguished Teaching Award.
Wise said Cauce’s role will be evolving in the coming months. “She will participate in all the leadership meetings as we move forward with new initiatives,” Wise said. “I am confident that the University will benefit from the experience, expertise, and integrity that she brings to this role.”
Cauce’s appointment is effective Oct. 1.