University of South Carolina

Fitzpatrick named vice provost for new initiatives

By Megan Sexton, msexton@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-1421

Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, dean of USC’s College of Arts and Sciences, has taken on an additional role: vice provost for special academic initiatives.

Fitzpatrick, who will retain her position as dean of the university’s largest college, will join Provost Michael Amiridis’ provost council. In her new position, she will work on special initiatives in the provost’s office, including developing ways to increase undergraduate retention and improve graduation rates. She also will plan and implement a summer-mester, which will re-create the academic calendar to provide students greater flexibility and options, allowing them to move more quickly toward graduation.

“I am thrilled Dean Fitzpatrick has agreed to serve on the provost’s executive council and help the university as we work to develop new ways to ensure the success of our undergraduate students,” Amiridis said. “Her expertise will help guide us as we enhance the university’s academic services for students. Those enhancements will include everything from effective advising to improving graduation and retention rates.”

Fitzpatrick, who came to Carolina in 2005 as the founding dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said the university has made great strides in improving the undergraduate curriculum and in creating innovative ways to support students and help them achieve their goals.

“This is a sign of the collaboration, the energy and the commitment to innovation we have at the University of South Carolina. We’re really looking at a number of major initiatives to improve the academic services we offer to undergraduate students,” Fitzpatrick said. “It shows a sense of commitment to our undergraduate students and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

The appointment is effective immediately.

Prior to joining USC’s faculty, Fitzpatrick was at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she spent more than 25 years and held several posts, including the WARF Kellett Professorship. She also was deputy dean of the College of Letters and Science (2002-2004), vice provost to the provost and chancellor (1999-2001) and senior associate dean (1997-2001).

USC’s College of Arts and Sciences, established in January 2005, comprises the former College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Mathematics, School for the Environment and the College of Criminal Justice. It serves more than 13,000 students and has 700 faculty members.

As the chief academic and operating officer of the college, Fitzpatrick’s responsibilities include strategic planning and policy development (in collaboration with the senior staff and the Academic Planning Council), faculty and staff recruitment, retention and support, resource development and allocation, academic program development and review and external relations.

An active member of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) since 1983, Fitzpatrick was nominated president-elect in December 2011. In 2012, she was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS). A past-president of the International Communication Association, Fitzpatrick received its 2001 Career Achievement Award for sustained excellence in communication research. An internationally recognized authority on interpersonal communication, Fitzpatrick is the author of more than 100 articles, chapters and books. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health and the Spencer Foundation.

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Posted: 10/18/12 @ 11:00 AM | Updated: 10/18/12 @ 5:12 PM | Permalink