Provost Jayanth Banavar promoted to Professor of Physics

See the official announcement below, to take effect July 1. Professor Banavar will become UO’s 31st most highly cited faculty member, according to the prestigious Google Scholar rankings. Not bad for a part-timer.

The pre-rumor from the faculty club’s opening session next Wednesday is that Pres Schill will need to find a philosopher-king willing to serve as his interim provost for next year, which will be busy with transparent searches – led by real search committees – for a new Provost, a new CAS Dean, a new CoD Dean, and my guess is at least a few other administrators, expected and unexpected.


April 3, 2019

Dear University of Oregon community:

I am writing to let you know that Jayanth Banavar will complete his service as provost and senior vice president as of July 1. In stepping back from his academic leadership position, Jayanth, a renowned physicist, will assume his appointment as a professor in the UO’s Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am delighted that he will continue to be part of the UO community.

I want to thank Jayanth for his distinguished service as provost over the last two years. He has served in one of the most challenging executive roles at any university with great warmth, caring, and an unwavering focus on strengthening and building academic excellence at the UO. During his tenure, he has implemented major changes within the Office of the Provost to improve academic affairs, made impressive strides that bolster the UO’s academic foundation, and been a champion of diversity and inclusion. Among his numerous accomplishments, Jayanth solidified the use of a more transparent budget model for our schools and colleges and an innovative academic hiring plan that is strategically increasing our faculty ranks. He also advanced our coordinated effort to revolutionize student advising on campus, helped launch an ambitious interdisciplinary data science program, assisted in the revamping of our Clark Honors College, and recruited several deans and outstanding scholars, including Nobel Prize-winner David Wineland.

There is no doubt Jayanth has made an indelible and lasting positive impact on the UO during his tenure as provost. I personally appreciate his sense of humor, his ability to approach an issue both analytically and with empathy, and his constant dedication to doing what is best for the institution. I respect his decision to step down and am very grateful for his service to the UO.

Going forward, we will strive for a smooth transition that maintains all of the momentum and progress that Jayanth has delivered in the Office of the Provost. Over the next few weeks, I will consult with campus stakeholders and faculty leaders about selecting an interim provost and the process for filling the role permanently. The provost is the chief academic officer of the institution, and ensuring that we have effective leadership in the position is vital to achieving our shared academic goals and objectives.

Please join me again in thanking Jayanth for all he has done to serve the University of Oregon.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law


New Provost Jayanth Banavar appoints Scott Pratt to run Ac Affairs

Dear friends,

I am writing to introduce myself as the University of Oregon’s new provost and senior vice president. As you may know, President Michael Schill asked me in February to join this outstanding institution and I was delighted to accept. I arrived on campus last week, but I have been working with my future colleagues over the last few months to prepare for my transition. I am very grateful to Scott Coltrane for his support and friendship. I am very much looking forward to working with all of you to enhance the excellence of our university.

As my first official act as provost, it is my pleasure to announce that we have selected Scott Pratt as our new executive vice provost* for academic affairs (EVP) following an internal searchthat generated an outstanding pool of candidates. Scott has served as vice provost and dean of the Graduate School since March 2015. In his graduate dean position, Pratt expanded and energized the UO’s doctoral programs, supporting President Schill’s priority of increasing academic excellence and research productivity. During his more than 20-year career at the UO, Pratt, a professor of philosophy, has served as director of graduate studies in the philosophy department, as well as department head, associate dean of the humanities, and director of undergraduate studies for the philosophy department. He has published seven books and dozens of articles and has received a Williams Fellowship for Outstanding University Teaching. Pratt’s appointment is effective immediately. He will continue to serve at the graduate dean until an interim dean is appointed.

Pratt’s appointment as EVP is part of the new leadership structure of the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs (OPAA). This leadership structure is designed to advance the university’s strategic goals and create more focused, nimble, and sustainable support for our academic programs, units, faculty, and initiatives. Scott will focus on defining and implementing high-priority academic initiatives for the university. Brad Shelton will serve as executive vice provost for academic operations where he will develop our academic budget model and support academic planning. Associate vice president and chief of staff to the provost, Melanie Muenzer, will continue in her leadership role, helping to accomplish our academic aspirations. We will also hire a new vice provost for academic affairs this year.

Please join me in congratulating Scott Pratt on his new position. I am very happy to have Melanie, Scott, Brad, and all of the OPAA staff at my side as I get to know the campus and gain greater insights into our university. My office will host a series of events in late summer and early fall as the academic year starts so that I may meet directly with faculty and staff. I am delighted to be your colleague and am very proud to be your partner in advancing the University of Oregon’s academic mission.

Jayanth Banavar
Provost and Senior Vice President

[* UOM: I’ve never of an Executive Vice Provost either, but there’s been so much title inflation in JH they’ve run out of sensible ones. Whatever, Pratt is a great fit for this job. He and the search committee are now searching his executive officer, who will have the title of Vice Provost.]