Beilock, Gilliam and Hale appointed to leadership roles in Office of the Provost

Profs. Sian Beilock, Melissa Gilliam and Melina Hale have been appointed to leadership positions in the Office of the Provost to help coordinate a range of activities with faculty, students and staff across the University, incoming Provost Daniel Diermeier announced.

Beilock has been appointed Executive Vice Provost, working closely with other University leaders on strategic initiatives vital to ensuring the University’s preeminence and distinction. Gilliam, who has been named Vice Provost for Academic Leadership, Advancement and Diversity, will oversee advancement of scholars at all stages of their academic careers as well as ensuring that the University continues to build a diverse pipeline of scholars. Hale will take the position of Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives, with responsibility for development of key campus-wide academic initiatives.

Diermeier said the appointments were informed by his initial discussions with faculty, which indicated a desire to ensure a strong presence for faculty perspectives in administrative roles and decisions. The new appointments are effective July 1.

“All three of these accomplished colleagues will bring deep experience and valuable perspectives to some of the most important issues that come before the Provost’s Office,” said Diermeier, whose appointment as Provost also is effective July 1. “I am delighted that Sian, Melissa and Melina have agreed to serve in these leadership roles.”

Beilock will lead strategy and oversight around strategic academic initiatives, space allocation and planning in support of long-term needs and initiatives, and University-wide support for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. In addition to continuing her current work on UChicago Urban (the University’s integrative efforts to bridge urban scholarship, practice and engagement), UChicagoGRAD and other important initiatives, Beilock will work to ensure that major academic centers, such as the University Libraries and the University of Chicago Press, support the University’s research and education mission. Beilock is the Stella M. Rowley Professor in Psychology, the Committee on Education and the College. Her research explores the brain and body factors that contribute to “choking under pressure” in performance situations ranging from test-taking to public speaking and athletics. A member of the UChicago faculty since 2005, Beilock joined the Provost’s office in fall 2015 as Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives. She has led the planning and launch of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, the creation of UChicagoGRAD, and provided leadership and support for arts initiatives such as Arts + Public Life.

In Gilliam’s new role as Vice Provost for Academic Leadership, Advancement and Diversity, she will provide leadership in advancing the University’s development of scholars at all stages of the academic career ladder. She will work to address the campus climate and the quality of faculty experiences at the University, as well as issues of recruitment and retention. Working with colleagues across the institution, she will guide and coordinate policies and practices to increase accountability and progress in diversifying the University’s faculty and students, and ensuring an inclusive and equitable campus. A pediatric and adolescent gynecologist, Gilliam is the Ellen H. Block Professor of Health Justice. She has served as Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Biological Sciences Division and as Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3)—roles in which Diermeier said Gilliam has shown “remarkable leadership.”

Hale, the new Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives, will work with faculty and deans on academic initiatives that go beyond the prerogatives of one division or school. She will help support coordination and advancement in areas ranging from the applied sciences to economics and public policy. She will also work to establish clear lines of communication between the Provost’s Office, the divisions and schools, faculty, and students regarding current and emerging academic initiatives. Hale received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 1998 and joined the faculty in 2002. She is the William Rainey Harper Professor in the College and Organismal Biology and Anatomy and is a member of the Committee of Neurobiology and the Committee on Computational Neuroscience. She is also a fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. Most recently Hale served as Dean for Faculty Affairs in the Biological Sciences Division and on the board of the Laboratory Schools.