Interim Provost Search

From President Freeman A. Hrabowski

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Philip Rous as UMBC’s Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, effective July 1, 2011. Dr. Rous, who holds the rank of full professor in our Department of Physics, has most recently served as Dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS) (2010-2011) and Interim Dean (2008-2009).

His interim appointment concludes an internal search begun in mid-May following the announcement that Provost Elliot Hirshman will become President of San Diego State University on July 1. I am extremely grateful to the search committee, chaired by Dr. John Jeffries, Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the campus community for providing me with excellent advice.

Dr. Rous has provided outstanding leadership of CNMS the past three years, demonstrating his strong commitment to UMBC’s fundamental mission and values in such areas as student success, faculty diversity and faculty and staff development and retention. He played an instrumental role, for example, in creating the College’s Active Science Teaching & Learning Environment (CASTLE), focused on developing new pedagogical models based on innovative student-engagement practices. He also has played a leadership role in shared governance on campus. Over a period of four years (2003-2007), he served as Faculty Senate Vice President and then as Senate President. He has earned the trust and respect of colleagues, particularly for his openness and balanced approach to issues; his analytical, managerial and problem-solving abilities; and his sense of fairness and thoughtfulness.

Dr. Rous joined the UMBC community in 1990 as an Assistant Professor of Physics after completing his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at the Imperial College of Science & Technology (U.K.) and conducting postdoctoral research at Imperial College, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Cambridge (U.K.). He is an accomplished scholar, focusing his research on theoretical condensed matter physics, and he has contributed to the fundamental understanding of the crystallography of surfaces, the dynamics and structure of negative ion states at surfaces and nanophysics. The results of his interdisciplinary research have been published extensively in both physics and chemistry journals. Most recently, Dr. Rous has played a leadership role in supporting science education research, serving as Principal Investigator for the HHMI National Experiment in Undergraduate Science and as Co-PI for the NSF Innovation Through Institutional Integration award aimed at understanding and increasing student success at UMBC.

As Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Philip will be responsible for the quality, vitality and delivery of the academic program, ensuring excellence among the faculty, student body and academic affairs staff. He also will oversee all academic activities involving faculty and students, including research, planning and academic support services. Further, he will oversee the campus planning process, working with the other Vice Presidents, the Deans and campus governance groups to coordinate planning and budgeting for the campus. The Deans of the colleges and schools report to the Interim Provost, who also works cooperatively with other University System of Maryland (USM) campus leaders, especially provosts and academic vice presidents. Working closely with me, the Interim Provost also often represents UMBC to USM, the State Legislature and State and federal agencies.

In the fall, we will begin a national search for a permanent Provost. I will keep the campus community informed about this process.

UMBC is very fortunate to have someone of Philip Rous’s impressive experience and talent to serve as Interim Provost. Join me in congratulating and supporting him.

One response to “Interim Provost Search

  1. Jonathan Finkelstein


    Congratulations and best of luck.


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