March 28, 2023

UMW Names Associate Provost for Enrollment Management

Kimberley Buster-Williams has been named to the position of associate provost for enrollment management at the University of Mary Washington. Buster-Williams has spent nearly 20 years in higher education admissions, most recently as acting associate vice president for enrollment management at Northern Illinois University. Kimberley Buster-Williams. Photo courtesy of Northern Illinois University. Buster-Williams, who will begin work at UMW on May 25, will oversee all matters related to enrollment and recruitment for the university. As associate provost, she will be responsible for the Office of Admissions, the Office of the University Registrar, and the Office of Financial Aid.  She will also chair UMW’s Enrollment Management and Retention Committee, which includes representation from faculty and staff serving in offices across campus. Buster-Williams will take the helm from Carol Descak, who has served as associate provost for admissions and financial aid since June 2012. “Kimberley has had broad experience, both addressing significant enrollment challenges associated with the changing landscape of higher education and utilizing new systems and technologies similar to and, in some cases, the same as those we have begun to utilize at Mary Washington,” said Provost Jonathan Levin. Prior to her current position at Northern Illinois University, Buster-Williams served as director of admissions. In her seven years as director of admissions at the University of Michigan at Flint she oversaw enrollment growth of nearly 33 percent and an increase in high-achieving students. She also has served in the admissions departments at Old Dominion University and Johnson and Wales University, both in Norfolk. A native of Richmond, Va., Buster-Williams earned a bachelor’s in English, a master’s degree in educational administration and an educational specialist degree in educational leadership, all from Old Dominion. She also holds professional certificates from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Provost’s Update on Strategic Resource Allocation Process

Dear colleagues,

As the two committees near completion of their work on the Strategic Resource Allocation project, I write to address the process going forward.  I am anticipating submission of reports from the committees some time around May 1, but in any event before the end of this academic year.

Soon after these reports are submitted, they will be made available for review by members of the campus community.  I want to underscore here, as both President Hurley and I have said in other venues, that a low quintile rating of a program or function does not necessarily mean that that program or function will be eliminated.  The committees’ recommendations will rather represent a starting point for a continuing discussion of how best to position ourselves as an institution to strategically achieve our goals.  To that end, the campus community will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on the recommendations in the reports, both on-line and in town-hall settings.

I want to stress especially that President Hurley and members of his Cabinet are all committed to taking whatever time is required to solicit appropriate feedback from the campus community.  We have no intention of rushing to judgment or trying to implement recommended changes after the faculty has dispersed for the summer.  Assuming we receive the reports in early May, I would expect that the campus conversation I have described here will necessarily extend into the fall semester.  It may even have to wait until then to get started in earnest.

That said, we will want to move as expeditiously as possible to address the recommendations raised in the reports.  We will also be looking to link the insights and recommendations developed through this process to a new strategic planning process, set to get underway during the 2014-15 academic year as well.

We have a unique opportunity before us.  30 dedicated members of our campus community—37 counting those who served on the facilitation team—have spent the better part of the last year reviewing data and thinking long and hard, both individually and collectively, about our various programs and operational functions.  My hope is that this deep dive into our programs and operations will help all of us sort through our short- and long-term challenges and opportunities.  I hope too that by feeding this insight into the development of our next strategic plan, and by having the courage to make some hard but necessary decisions, we will be able to position ourselves strategically both to enhance the overall excellence of what we do and ensure that we are effectively meeting the needs of all the constituencies we serve, especially our students.   To that end, President Hurley and I, along with other members of his Cabinet, will welcome your continuing participation as we review and respond to the reports of the two committees in the weeks and months ahead.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan

Jonathan Levin
Provost

UMW Welcomes Jonathan Levin as New Provost

Jonathan Levin, formerly of Drew University, has started work as the University of Mary Washington’s provost. Levin has spent more than 20 years in higher education, including nearly a decade as an administrator. Most recently, he served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Drew University in Madison, N.J. I am very excited to be joining such a vibrant, highly regarded academic community,” Levin said. “I look forward to working with students, faculty and staff to further enhance and bring distinction to Mary Washington.” As the chief academic officer at UMW, Levin will be responsible for oversight of all academic programs, academic planning and budgets and faculty matters. Working with the deans and the faculty, the provost provides leadership of major university initiatives in teaching, research and creative activities and has responsibility for all university educational and academic policies. He also will oversee enrollment management. Prior to Drew, Levin held administrative and faculty positions at State University of New York at Purchase, Fordham University and Columbia University. Levin earned a bachelor of arts in English and French from the University of Michigan, a master of arts in English from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University.

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News release prepared by: Brynn Boyer            

Drew University Dean Named as UMW Provost

Jonathan Levin has been named to the position of provost of the University of Mary Washington. Levin has spent more than 20 years in higher education, including nearly a decade as an administrator. Currently, he serves as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Drew University in Madison, N.J.

Jonathan Levin has been named UMW’s provost. Photo courtesy of Drew University.

Levin will serve as the chief academic officer at UMW and will be responsible for oversight of all academic programs, academic planning and budgets and faculty matters. Working with the deans and the faculty, the provost provides leadership of major university initiatives in teaching, research and creative activities and has responsibility for all university educational and academic policies. He also will oversee enrollment management. Levin will begin work on June 25, 2013.

“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Levin has agreed to come to UMW,” said President Richard V. Hurley. “His background and experience will be a tremendous asset as we move the institution forward.”

Levin has served as dean and professor of English at Drew for five years, during which time he has coordinated all aspects of undergraduate curriculum development and assessment at the private liberal arts and sciences university in New Jersey. While at the institution, he oversaw development and implementation of several new programs, including the Baldwin Honors and Civic Scholars programs, as well as a new general education curriculum. During his tenure, Drew experienced substantial growth in underrepresented student populations and improved its academic profile.

Prior to Drew, Levin spent three years as dean of the School of Humanities at State University of New York at Purchase. During his time at Purchase, Levin led a redesign of the general education program and implemented collaborative campus-wide initiatives.

Levin also has served as chair of the Department of English, acting director of American studies and associate professor of English at Fordham University and as associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University.

The author of “The Poetics of Transition: Emerson, Pragmatism & American Literary Modernism,” Levin has published numerous articles in scholarly journals on 19th- and 20th-century American literature and culture.

Levin earned a bachelor of arts in English and French from the University of Michigan, a master of arts in English from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University.

Important Message From the Provost

In order to continue to focus on President Hurley’s goal of aspiring to be the best liberal arts and sciences university in the nation, UMW is embarking on an examination of its programs and current expenditures. This will help establish a roadmap for the future. We will be asking such questions as:

  • Are we allocating our resources in the best possible manner?
  • How might we do things better?
  • In what areas can Mary Washington be recognized as truly distinctive?
  • How might we further enhance our strengths?
  • In an increasingly competitive environment, which new program proposals coming from our faculty might we support?
  • Which of our existing programs might we want to expand?

The reality for state-supported institutions like Mary Washington is that state dollars are severely limited and no longer provide funds for meaningful growth in either size or programs. Currently, state appropriations constitute only 20 percent of our operating budget. In addition, all colleges and universities face increasing pressures to keep tuition costs to students and families as low as possible.

It is for this reason that such examinations are becoming commonplace in universities. At Mary Washington, we plan to conduct a broad-based consultative process involving many faculty members. It is imperative that decisions about our future are made with significant faculty involvement, and not imposed from the top down. Again, through this process, we will not only identify future priorities, but also strengthen our unique niche among Virginia’s public universities.

We will be assisted in this endeavor by an external consulting firm that has expertise in developing consultative faculty decision-making processes.  The goal of the exercise is to study all academic and non-academic activities, and to conclude where we might want to invest or reallocate resources. With such a blueprint, making those decisions as we progress forward will be buttressed by widespread input from all constituencies.

The process, which will take several months, is funded by President Hurley’s Fund For the Future, which is supported by the UMW Foundation.  As the study progresses, you will be hearing more about it.

–Ian Newbould
Interim Provost

 

Provost Announces 2012-2013 Sabbatical Recipients and Jepson Fellows

Eight faculty members were awarded sabbatical leaves for all or part of the 2012-13 academic year to pursue a research or other professional development project, according to the December 2011 newsletter from the Provost’s Office.  Another six faculty members will spend the next academic year as Jepson Fellows with a half-time teaching load while they pursue a research project that has particular and direct application to their teaching.

The 2012-13 sabbatical awardees and their project statements are listed below:

  • Nabil Al-Tikriti, Department of History and American Studies.  Project for spring 2013: complete final chapters of monograph on the Ottoman empire and submit final draft for publication.
  • David Cain, Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion.  Project for fall 2012: complete a collection of essays on Kierkegaard.
  • Mindy Erchull, Department of Psychology.  Project for fall 2012: analyze collected data, prepare to present project and results for publication on objectification among young women.
  • Eric Gable, Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Project for spring 2013: complete book on the archeology of art.
  • James Gaines, Department of Modern Foreign Languages.  Project for spring 2013: complete series of articles on 18th century literature.
  • Stephen Hanna, Department of Geography.  Project for 2012-13 academic year: consolidate research and submit book for publication on heritage tourism in Fredericksburg.
  • Bruce O’Brien, Department of History and American Studies.  Project for 2012-13 academic year: complete book draft for a series on modern England (Academic year 2012-2013).
  • Jennifer Polack-Wahl, Department of Computer Science.  Project for spring 2013: complete final testing of iTouch to be used in elementary education.

Jepson Fellows and titles of their projects for 2012-13 are:

  • Janet Asper, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, “Development of Super-absorbing Organic Gellants for Crude Oil, and a Polymer Themed Organic Chemistry Laboratory Curriculum”
  • Julius N. Esunge, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, “Minimizing Insurance Company Risk in a Random Framework”
  • Ben LaBreche, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication (English), Liberty Agonistes: The Problem of Freedom in the Age of Milton”
  • Jangwoon (Leo) Lee, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, “A Domain Decomposition Method for Mathematical Models with Random Input Data”
  • Jason Matzke, Associate Professor, Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion (Philosophy), “Between Civil Disobedience and Burning Rage: Reframing Radical Environmental Activism within Deliberative Democracy”
  • Colin Rafferty, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication (English), “Beyond Truth: A False Memoir in Literature and Culture”