Departing Provost was terrific colleague to boss, showed him many kindnesses

Of course she treated those people who couldn’t help her get a new job somewhat differently. In any case this is great news for UO and I’ll take her unexpectedly speedy departure as a sign Scholz may have a better understanding of UO’s campus climate problems than came across in the recent town hall.

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to share the news that Janet Woodruff-Borden, interim provost and executive vice president, will be leaving the University of Oregon to take the position of senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has been a terrific colleague, leading with wisdom and thoughtfulness through transition, while continuing to advance our academic enterprise. I am also grateful for her support and many kindnesses to me as I have taken on my new role. Her expertise will be missed.

Woodruff-Borden has served as interim provost since August of 2022. In this role, and in her previous role as executive vice provost for academic affairs, she led initiatives focused on student success to address equity gaps, interdisciplinary academic efforts, and supported inclusive excellence across the academic portfolio. She helped in the development and implementation of the UO’s Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health. She also promoted and advanced work in curricular development and approval, program review and accreditation, faculty professional development, inclusive teaching, and online and hybrid education.

Woodruff-Borden joined the UO in 2018 as dean of the Graduate School (now Division of Graduate Studies), where she focused on growing the graduate program and improving processes, policies, and graduate recruitment and admissions. Her final day in the office will be December 31.

I have appointed Karen Ford to serve as interim provost effective January 1. Ford currently serves as interim executive vice provost in the Office of the Provost and has served in numerous leadership roles in her 30 years at the university, including as dean for faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, interim dean of the Clark Honors College, and senior divisional dean for humanities in CAS. I thank her for her leadership through this transition time.

As I announced in October, the search for a permanent provost and senior vice president is underway. Following input from the campus community and academic leadership, the search committee has finalized the position description, which is now available on the search webpage.

Please join me in wishing Janet the best in her next chapter.


Karl Scholz 

UAB post, presumably taken from her application letter:

In her role as interim provost and executive vice president at the University of Oregon — and in her previous role at Oregon as executive vice provost for academic affairs — Woodruff-Borden led initiatives on three key fronts: interdisciplinary initiatives focused on the environment, child and adolescent behavioral health, and sport and wellness; student success initiatives to address equity gaps; and inclusive excellence across the academic portfolio. Woodruff-Borden also helped in the development and implementation of UO’s Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, which included a $425 million private gift.

Woodruff-Borden steered the University of Oregon’s work to promote and advance the provost office’s work in curricular development and approval, program review and accreditation, faculty professional development, inclusive teaching, online and hybrid education, and employee and labor relations matters.

As dean and provost of the University of Oregon’s graduate school, Woodruff-Borden fostered interdisciplinary relationships to help the program grow. She improved processes for how her team interfaced with and supported graduate programs within the university’s schools and colleges. She also advanced several initiatives, including development of best practices in graduate recruitment and admissions, professional development, data-informed decision making, and university graduate education policies. …

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13 Responses to Departing Provost was terrific colleague to boss, showed him many kindnesses

  1. uomatters says:

    and imho Karen Ford will be a terrific improvement and I hope she gets the permanent job.

    • XDH says:

      Karen Ford will do a great job. I have worked with her on many committees over my time at UO. She is extremely good at what she does and is fair and impartial. I kind of feel sorry for her getting saddled with another “interim” job.

      UOM – what are we on now? Provost/interim Provost #20 since 1990?

      • uomatters says:

        I’m not sure what the exact count is, but you’re really a nobody at UO if you haven’t at least been a finalist. Even I got there as the half-price provost candidate. Everyone is optimistic about Ford, although someone pointed out that part of the reason she is so well liked is that up til now she’s always been able to blame an obviously incompetent superior for the bad shit.

  2. CSN says:

    What happened in the town hall?

    • uomatters says:

      Alex-Assensoh read a poem, Scholz said faculty at Madison complained a lot too, Admins separated people into breakout rooms to prevent formation of a critical mass. It ended with threats of waterboarding. Or maybe that was promises of “everboarding”, though what’s the diff? This is secondhand I wasn’t there.

  3. Uncle Bernie's nephew says:

    oh boy, [comment partially redacted because it did not include enough cuss words] twubble? If so, shame!

  4. Don't let the door hit you on the way out says:

    Woodruff-Borden’s final presentation to the UO Senate was a not so subtle attack on both the GTFF and shared governance, intentionally refusing to refer to GEs as employees (just students). Classic move from the UO administration bargaining playbook. Happy to see her go.

    Personally, I would not have gotten the opportunity to continue teaching at UO after grad school without the support of Dr. Ford, and am very glad she is willing to take on this important role.

  5. uomatters says:

    A few months back a well-placed admin colleague of Woodruff-Borden asked me to back off on my criticisms of her. At the time I didn’t understand why, since they also told me my complaints were accurate. Now I understand – she was on the market, and JH was worried potential employers would find this blog and not hire her.
    You might think that a new president would have the stones to simply fire an incompetent interim provost – but apparently that would violate the code of omertà. Instead they keep quiet so they can pass the trash quickly.
    These are the same administrators who complain that faculty write glowing tenure and promotion reviews for colleagues that everyone knows should get the boot.
    I’m sure that it’s easy to write down a model in which our behavior is a Nash equilibrium, but I doubt it’s an optimal one.

  6. fireraywatts says:

    UAB alum here. So, what has my alma mater just gotten itself with this hire, on a scale of zero to five dumpster fires? Details welcome.

    • uomatters says:

      I interviewed her for her first job at UO – Dean of the Grad School. I thought she was straight-talking, tough-minded, and competent. Apparently your President Watts fell for that too.