Press "Enter" to skip to content

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



  1. uomatters Post author | 04/03/2019

    Note to readers: While I welcome informed comments and questions, I’ll be moderating these more carefully than usual for this post.

    • oldtimer 04/03/2019

      is there no statement from provost benavar? if not, the sikencecis loud and curious. Perhaps I missed it. I miss lots of things now.

      • Anonymous 04/03/2019

        [UOM note: A generally reliable source confirms that the message below, posted here by Anonymous (please use a screen name), was in fact sent out by Prof Banavar to a UO listserv, shortly after Pres Schill’s announcement of his promotion.]

        Dear Friends,

        As you saw in President Schill’s earlier message, I am stepping down from my position as provost at the University of Oregon, effective July 1.

        It seems like just yesterday, when all of you gave me a very warm welcome to the university. As provost, I have greatly enjoyed working closely with and learning from Mike Schill, our Board of Trustees, and our amazing faculty.

        I am thankful that I had the opportunity to work with a very dedicated staff, with generous friends and donors, with the Senate, and with other campus leaders to help improve our scholarly endeavors.

        Here, at UO, we put our students first in all that we do. Whether it is in promoting their success or developing groundbreaking initiatives, I am grateful to have played a part in moving our university forward with your help and support.

        I am proud to belong to the UO community and look forward to a very bright future for all of us.


  2. Anon 04/03/2019

    OK, fine. No speculation about why Banavar left. But can we all agree that Shelton would be a disastrous replacement?

    • Dog 04/03/2019

      fortunately Shelton is on Retirement as of Winter 2019
      so he can not have full time position at UO – but maybe
      he can have a have-ass position, oh wait, he already does.

      likely the interim will be perceived by Shill, to have a direct connection/interest in the KC, which also would likely to
      be a disaster for the UO

      But hey, at least we have 11.6 million dollars less to work with for next year …

  3. marmot 04/03/2019

    With vacancies in the provost’s office and the top of CAS, Schill now has a big opportunity for significant change.
    The trend at UO toward consolidating and centralizing power and control could be appealing to someone who has strong ideas. Schill’s complaint about CAS has apparently been that it lacked vision. If that’s true, he will likely see this as a chance to change that.
    But centralizing power also means centralizing responsibility. Responsibility for harnessing the creativity and energy of the people here, because you can’t expect to think of everything yourself. Responsibility for getting people behind your ideas, because you can’t pull them off alone, much less with opposition. And responsibility when there are unintended consequences or just random bad stuff goes down, because if you’re the decision-maker to make good stuff happen, you’re the decision-maker when bad stuff happens too.
    Whatever you think of Schill’s remarks about vision at CAS, I think it is fair to say Marcus was good at the sizeable responsibilities of his job. [UOM: Some fair and balanced comments on Banavar redacted here, just because I’d rather let things rest a bit before getting into the post-mortem. Sorry.]
    I hope that Schill keeps all this in mind as we search for replacements. It would be too easy to get excited abive out somebody with a big loud bold vision and no theory of how to get it done, and too easy to overlook someone who’ll quietly make the organization thrive by bringing out the best in the people who work for them.

  4. ATC 04/04/2019

    I hope this comment passes your no post-mortem test.

    Jayanth always struck me as a class act who’d been talked into a tough job and was quickly left to dangle in the wind by the very people who hired him and promised him their help. Cruel. Fortunately for him he’d kept up his research and publishing.

  5. thedude 04/04/2019

    Just totally screwed over the physics department’s share of external equity raises next winter…..

  6. Just a ? 04/25/2019

    Now is the time Professor Harbaugh.

    You have waited your whole life for this opportunity. Don’t waste what could be your only chance.

    • Deplorable Duck 04/26/2019

      He’d have my vote.

  7. UO CC 04/25/2019

    Give the job to Mullins. The man can get things done and he knows the athletic side inside-out.

    If his interests’ align with the academic side he can raise all ships.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *