Vanderbilt names provost, vice chancellor for academic affairs

Veteran VU academician to replace McCarty, begin tenure July 1

Susan R. Wente, a biomedical scientist who has served as associate vice chancellor for research at Vanderbilt University for the past five years, has been named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos announced today.

Wente, who will begin her tenure July 1, will succeed Richard McCarty, who is stepping down after serving in the role the past six years.

A senior associate dean of biomedical sciences and professor of cell and developmental biology in the School of Medicine, Wente also leads the academic strategic planning process across the entire institution. During the past year, she has taken on the additional role of co-chairing the executive committee of the university-wide academic strategic plan. Wente began her work at VU in 2002 as professor and chair of cell and developmental biology.

“Susan is a strong and confident leader and a brilliant scholar who is exceptionally well positioned to keep Vanderbilt on a bold and exciting path," Zeppos said in a release. “As a co-chair of our strategic planning process, she has had great influence on Vanderbilt’s plan for the future. Now I anticipate with relish her leadership as provost in bringing the plan to fruition.”

VU selected Wente on the recommendation of a Zeppos-chaired search committee that included faculty, administrators and Vanderbilt Board of Trust member Eugene B. Shanks Jr.

As provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, Wente will have responsibility for academic programs, including Blair School of Music, the College of Arts and Science, the Divinity School, the School of Engineering, the Graduate School, the Law School, Owen Graduate School of Management and Peabody College of Education and Human Development, as well as student affairs, housing, admissions and financial aid, and research.

"I look forward to learning more and to continuing to help lay the foundation for our future," Wente said in the release. "I am deeply committed to Vanderbilt's academic missions of excellence in discovering and learning. It is such an exciting time at Vanderbilt, and we are poised to work collaboratively to make the most of our distinctive research and education strengths across the university."

Wente earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa, graduating with honors in biochemistry. She went on to the University of California, where she received a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Wente did post-doctoral work at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, as well as a fellowship at Rockefeller University.

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