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Provost Announces Key Appointments

June 27, 2019

A Message From Gregg Camfield, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost:

I am writing to you today to announce three key Senior Leadership position selections.

Teenie Matlock, Vice Provost for the Faculty (VPF)

Teenie Matlock, UC MercedI am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Teenie Matlock as Vice Provost for the Faculty (VPF) effective July 1, 2019.

Teenie joined our campus in 2004 as one of our founding faculty members. As such, she understands the extraordinary difficulty of being a productive researcher while also building programs. She has done both admirably, rising from assistant professor to full professor and McClatchy Chair in Communications by virtue of producing more than 100 papers, many focusing on language and cognition. Regarding program building, she was the founding chair of Cognitive and Information Sciences and founding Director of the Center for Climate Communication (part of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute). Teenie demonstrated throughout the search process and in her time as Interim Vice Provost for the Faculty that she is a thoughtful leader and faculty advocate who champions diversity, equity, and inclusion and faculty development, especially for junior faculty and for department chairs.

As Vice Provost for the Faculty, Teenie will work to maintain the excellence of UC Merced's faculty and academic staff, in research, teaching, and service. She will ensure that academic personnel actions, including appointments, promotions, and advancements, are handled fairly, in a timely manner, and in accordance with University of California policies and campus goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She will oversee matters concerning faculty conduct and will develop and oversee initiatives to boost faculty productivity and well-being.

I am confident the campus will benefit from her leadership in academic personnel and faculty development and well-being. Please join me in congratulating Teenie and wishing her well in this position.

Kurt Schnier, Associate Provost of Academic Planning and Budget (AP APB)

Kurt Schnier, UC MercedI am pleased to announce that Dr. Kurt Schnier, Professor of Economics, has been selected as the Associate Provost of Academic Planning and Budget (AP APB), reporting both to me and to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, effective August 1, 2019.

Kurt joined the UC Merced faculty in 2014. His research focuses on conducting policy analysis in the fields of health and resource economics. Kurt has held key leadership positions at UC Merced including serving as both Chair and Vice Chair of the Academic Senate. He sat on the Graduate Council, General Education Subcommittee, Periodic Review and Oversight Committee, the Organizational Efficiency and Sustainability Working Group, and the Committee on Academic Planning and Resource Allocation. He is a founding member of the Budget Development Team responsible for building and implementing the Academic Budget Planning Process for the campus. Through this extensive service, he has demonstrated an understanding of the complexity of campus planning, the need to prioritize and streamline services, the impact of the Merced 2020 Project on faculty and staff needs, and how fundamental alignment is needed in meeting the academic mission of the campus.

A new position, the Associate Provost of Academic Planning and Budget fills a critical need for the campus as we develop both a budgetary foundation to support our academic mission and integrated planning processes to support our research, teaching and service. Kurt will work collaboratively with many constituents on campus including faculty committees, deans, vice chancellors, and chairs. His two primary responsibilities will be to facilitate the development of long-range strategic academic planning processes, and the development and design of academic budgets that align with the university’s academic mission, goals, and aspirations.

I am confident we will benefit from his leadership in academic planning and budget policy. Please join me in welcoming Kurt to his new position.

James Zimmerman, Interim Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education (VPDUE)

James Zimmerman, UC MercedI am pleased to announce that Dr. James Zimmerman, Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, has been selected as the Interim Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education (Interim VPDUE). His appointment will start July 1, 2019, and, pending a successful search for a permanent VPDUE, end July 1, 2020.

In his wide-ranging academic career as both faculty member and administrator, James has developed into a leader who can build consensus, motivate, and put good ideas into operation.  He enjoys the challenge of aligning constituents (both internal and external) toward the essential institutional goals of developing, managing, and resourcing exceptional and innovative undergraduate learning environments for a diverse student population.

As the Interim Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education, James will be responsible for the University’s campus-wide undergraduate programs, including General Education, the Merritt Writing Program, first-year advising, and for coordinating the University’s undergraduate research opportunities. He will also oversee the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning.

James’ stellar record as an academic administrator, a professional developer, and as a faculty member gives me confidence that he will use this interim opportunity to advocate for, lead, and serve the faculty, staff, and students of UC Merced. Please join me in welcoming James to this position.