The University of Mary Washington announced that Jonathan Levin, from Drew University, will be the new provost, beginning June 25, 2013.
Levin’s appointment was announced to the university community last Thursday, March 14, through email.
As provost, Levin will oversee all academic programs and planning. He will also work with other members of the administration and faculty.
Along with his breadth of experience, Levin had an “ability to communicate effectively with faculty,” according to President Rick Hurley.
Levin attended the University of Michigan where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. He also received a Master of Arts in English from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University.
Levin served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Drew University for the past five years. Previously, he was the dean of the School of Humanities at State University of New York at Purchase and has spent over 18 years in higher education.
“We are an arts and sciences institution, so that experience is important,” said Hurley.
Levin will move to Fredericksburg in June, and begin his position as provost shortly after. He hopes to realize Hurley’s goal of making UMW the best public liberal arts university in the nation.
“I think that is the right goal,” said Levin. “I think the school is already recognized among the best schools, but extending that reputation is the best goal. It’s now about how we get there.”
Levin hopes to identify the programs that should be supported and leverage a greater visibility for successful programs.
“People out in the midwest and west will hear our name and know exactly what and who we are,” said Levin.
As provost, Levin will be the chairperson for the academic support team for the reallocation project. He will oversee the progress of the team as they research and come to conclusions, according to Hurley.
“I need to learn and understand, so I want to hear from faculty and students about what’s not working and what is working,” said Levin. “I am not going into this process with any preconceived results of what should be.”
At Drew University, Levin currently teaches English and said he would eventually like to continue to do so when he makes the transition to Mary Washington.
“I absolutely hope to teach, I enjoy teaching,” said Levin. “Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the administrative work and be a good and effective teacher.”
Levin believes that the reallocation project will give him an opportunity to learn about the institution in a formal and organized way.
“Mary Washington has done really well. It is about making sure we are doing the right things, in the smartest way that we can,” said Levin.
Stephanie Preston, SGA president-elect, commented on the provost selection.
“I am pleased to see that Jonathan Levin has been chosen as the new provost,” said Preston. “I think that he is going to be a great asset to UMW, and I look forward to working with him.”
Levin will be visiting the Fredericksburg area next week with his family. He plans to meet with faculty and students for a few of hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 26 and 27.