Auburn University administration has named an interim provost and vice president of academic affairs to succeed Provost Bill Hardgrave, who begins his tenure as president of the University of Memphis in April.
President Jay Gogue announced Thursday that Vini Nathan, dean and McWhorter chair in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, will move into the position on March 7. Hardgrave starts his presidency at the University of Memphis on April 1.
“Dean Nathan is a seasoned academic leader who is knowledgeable about Auburn’s culture, traditions and policies,” Gogue said in an email sent to students Thursday. “She has a demonstrated commitment to students, faculty and staff as well as all aspects of Auburn’s land-grant mission. I am confident Vini can seamlessly move into the interim position and provide the provost’s office with expert leadership.”
As provost and vice president of academic affairs, Nathan will provide leadership to Auburn’s 13 colleges.
Nathan began her appointment at Auburn in 2011 as the dean of CADC and McWhorter chair. She previously served as dean and professor in the School of Architecture at Thomas Jefferson University, then Philadelphia University, as department chair and assistant professor of interior architecture at the New York Institute of Technology and as an assistant professor of interior design at Michigan State University.
Nathan earned her doctoral degree in architecture from the University of Michigan in 1994.
According to the email, the College of Architecture, Design and Construction increased student enrollment and the number of faculty members and expanded its undergraduate and graduate program offerings under Nathan’s leadership. CADC also experienced an increase in philanthropic support for endowed student scholarships, graduate fellowships, professorships, new and upgraded facilities and programmatic support while Nathan was dean.
“I am honored to be named the interim provost,” Nathan said. “I am excited to partner with Auburn’s students and faculty to continue to advance the university’s world-class academic reputation, unparalleled student experience and robust research and outreach mission. I look forward to working with President Gogue and incoming President Roberts.”
Chris Roberts, dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering who was named the University’s next president on Feb. 4, will begin a nationwide search for a permanent provost when his presidency begins on May 17. Nathan will not be a candidate for the permanent position, according to the email.
“I look forward to working with Vini in this role,” said Chris Roberts, dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering who was named Auburn’s 21st president on Feb. 4. “We have both served as deans for the past 10 years. In that time, I’ve been able to get to know her well and I’ve appreciated her leadership in her college and on campus.”
An acting dean for the CADC will be named in the coming weeks, according to the email. Nathan will return to her position as dean once a permanent provost is selected.
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Evan Mealins, senior in philosophy and economics, is the editor-in-chief of The Auburn Plainsman.