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University of Washington Names Lidstrom Interim Provost

Jul 14, 2010 at 6:41pm
Mary Lidstrom

University of Washington Names Lidstrom Interim Provost

Interim president-designate Phyllis Wise has named Mary Lidstrom, to be interim provost, filling the position Wise will leave when she becomes interim president in the fall. Lidstrom is Vice Provost for Research and a professor of microbiology and chemical engineering, where she holds the Frank Jungers Chair of Engineering. She has been the vice provost for research since 2005. The appointment was approved by the Board of Regents at its regular meeting today.

"I am delighted Mary is willing to step into the provost's position," said Wise. "She has a great perspective on the major issues the University faces and understands deeply the importance of investing strategically to support excellence in discovery and learning. She's a highly respected academic and administrative leader, and I look forward to working with her in our new roles."

Lidstrom has been at the UW twice, first from 1978-85 and again since 1996. She earned her B.S. in microbiology from Oregon State and her master's and Ph.D. in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin. She was a Leverhulme postdoctoral fellow in microbiology at the University of Sheffield. She has also held academic appointments in the Center for Great Lakes Studies in Milwaukee and in environmental engineering science at the California Institute of Technology. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Lidstrom has directed or co-directed a number of interdisciplinary programs that couple biology and engineering. She also has implemented an educational initiative that encourages engineering students to pursue careers at the boundary between engineering and biology and oversees the NHGRI-funded Genomics Outreach to Minorities program at UW. In addition, she runs an active research program in applied microbiology.

Lidstrom has a history of excellence in educational innovation. In 1993 she won the Caltech Associated Students Distinguished Teaching Award and in 2003, she received the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor Award for learning at the life sciences/engineering boundary. In 2006, she received the American Society for Microbiology Graduate Teaching Award for her long track record in mentoring graduate and postdoctoral students.

As the University's chief academic and budgetary officer, the Provost provides leadership in educational and curriculum development, formulation and allocation of space, long-range strategic planning, and management of the University's research programs, and serves as deputy to the President and provides advice and assistance to her and to the deans and the faculty in these matters.