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Jan. 3, 2006


UT's Sullivan selected as U-M provost


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ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Teresa A. Sullivan, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs of the University of Texas System, has been selected as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Her selection was announced to the campus community today (Jan. 3) by U-M President Mary Sue Coleman. The appointment was made in review and discussion with the Compensation and Personnel Committee of the Board of Regents, and will be effective June 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

Sullivan was chosen after an eight-month national search. The provost is the chief academic and budgetary officer and is responsible for sustaining and enhancing the University's academic excellence in teaching, research and creative endeavors. She will oversee the activities of U-M's 19 schools and colleges as well as numerous interdisciplinary institutes and centers.

"I am extremely pleased that Terry Sullivan will be joining the University and the administration," said U-M President Mary Sue Coleman. "The search advisory committee did an outstanding job in recruiting a large and superb pool of candidates, from which she emerged as the clear choice for this important position. Dr. Sullivan is a fine scholar, an outstanding educator and an accomplished administrator with a keen ability to nurture academic excellence and identify and develop strategic opportunities."

Sullivan will also hold a tenured faculty position as professor of sociology at the University of Michigan. She has distinguished herself as an outstanding scholar in labor force demographics, with a particular focus on economic marginality and consumer debt. At the University of Texas at Austin she holds appointments as professor of sociology and professor and Cox & Smith Inc. faculty fellow in law. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1970 and her doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1975.

"It is an honor to join the University of Michigan and its excellent administrative team," Sullivan said. "I am excited to get to know this great University and its faculty, staff and students in depth. I am looking forward to working with President Coleman, the vice presidents, deans and others in helping move U-M into a bright future."

Terrence J. McDonald, dean of the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) and professor of history, said, "We are delighted to add this distinguished sociologist to the faculty of LSA and the whole University will benefit from her broad and deep administrative experience."

A specialist in the demographic aspects of economic status, Sullivan has authored or co-authored six books, including "The Social Organization of Work" (2002), which is now in its third edition and is considered by many the leading textbook on the sociology of work. She has carried out groundbreaking research on consumer debt and bankruptcy, and her work in that field has been recognized with the Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association. Sullivan has received three major teaching awards at Texas for her undergraduate teaching, and she regularly teaches a first-year undergraduate course titled "Credit Cards, Debt, and American Society."

Sullivan has served in many administrative positions at the University of Texas at Austin, including director of the Women's Studies Program and chair of the Department of Sociology. In 1995, she was named vice president and dean of the Graduate School. During her tenure, the school introduced new programs in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, and the commercialization of science and technology. It also was consistently among the leaders in production of Hispanic and African American doctorate degrees, despite changes required by the Hopwood decision. In 2000, the Graduate School was given the Award for Innovation in Graduate Education by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

In 2002, Sullivan was named to her current post, serving as the chief academic officer for the system and overseeing its nine academic campuses. Her accomplishments include developing new tuition-setting procedures, following deregulation of tuition by the Texas legislature; reviewing and nurturing research across the system, with a 7.7 percent increase in system research expenditures during her tenure; developing significant, innovative collaborations between academic campuses and health system campuses; and implementing a system-wide, coordinated planning process involving the system office and the individual academic campuses.

Sullivan is past secretary of the American Sociological Association, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and past chair of the U.S. Census Advisory Committee. Following the 1990 and 2000 censuses, she served on advisory boards to the Secretary of Commerce on the accuracy of the census count. In 2004, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award of James Madison College at Michigan State University.

James S. Jackson, professor of psychology, director of the Institute for Social Research and chair of the provost search advisory committee, said, "On behalf of the entire Search Advisory Committee, we are very pleased that Dr. Teresa Sullivan has agreed to join the University of Michigan as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. It was a very thorough search and we contacted hundreds of people across the country. Dr. Sullivan emerged as a unanimous selection and we were confident in recommending her highly to President Coleman.

"There are a large number of challenges facing American higher education and the university. We feel that because of Dr. Sullivan's vast experience and successes in the University of Texas System, she will bring a level of knowledge and understanding to the position that bodes well for the future of U-M."

Sullivan will be joined in Ann Arbor by her husband, Douglas Laycock, who has accepted a faculty position at the top-ranked U-M Law School.

Sullivan succeeds Paul N. Courant, U-M professor of economics and of public policy, who served as provost for three years before stepping down in August 2005 to return to teaching and research. Edward M. Gramlich, the Richard A. Musgrave Collegiate Professor in U-M's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, has agreed to continue serving as interim provost until May 31, 2006. Between June 1 and Aug. 1, 2006, he will serve as an adviser to the president and to the new provost during her transition.

"I am deeply appreciative of Ned Gramlich's service during this transition," Coleman said.

The University of Michigan's position of excellence in higher education rests on the outstanding scholarly and creative contributions of its faculty and on the intellectual quality, vitality and passion of its students. There are nearly 2,800 tenured and tenure-track faculty on the Ann Arbor campus, and an additional 1,900 lecturers, clinical instructional faculty, and supplemental instructional staff. Each year the Ann Arbor campus enrolls approximately 40,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

The University's schools, colleges and divisions are nationally and internationally recognized. The University sustains top programs in the arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and in all of the major professional schools. It is the home of one of the largest health care complexes in the world.


Contact: Julie Peterson
Phone: (734) 936-5190