January 18, 2008

Provost welcomes two new deputies

The provost’s office welcomed two professors to new administrative positions this month. Cathy Cohen, professor of political science, was named the deputy provost for graduate education, while Larry Norman, an associate professor in romance languages and literatures, was named deputy provost of the arts.

Cohen will oversee the Graduate Aid Initiative and will work to promote diversity and international student representation among the University’s graduate students.

“My [new] role is to think about graduate school education in the 21st century,” she said. “To capture and promote what innovations and creative change already exist, and to channel them to improve education.”

As deputy provost of the arts, Norman will coordinate and lead the planning of the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts, slated to open south of the Midway in 2011.

“First and foremost, I aim to advance the interests of the students and faculty and of the staff of arts departments and organizations,” he said. “Secondly, I aim to enhance our collaborations with the different groups and arts institutions in the community and city, and, finally, to increase and diversify the audiences of the arts events.”

Prior to assuming his new position, Norman served as deputy dean of the Humanities Division.

Cohen, who is currently writing a book on race relations, said that she sees her new job as a continuation of her previous studies in “the history of the struggle of the oppressed and marginalized African-American community.” Cohen sees her new positions as an opportunity to advocate on behalf of another community that lacked the institutional attention to make its voice heard.

“I am accountable to the graduate students, among other constituencies. I feel beholden to hear and be an advocate for their views. That said, they will not always be happy with what I do, and I am also accountable to the provost,” she said.

The deputy provosts will hold weekly meetings with the provost and will work with the Board of Trustees and President Zimmer in representing their respective groups.