Dr. Julia A. Upton, R.S.M.

For the past twelve years — almost the entire time that I have been at St. John’s — the University Provost has been Dr. Julia A. Upton, R.S.M.  Earlier today, Fr. Harrington announced that this will be Julie’s last year as Provost.  Here is an excerpt from his announcement:

Early in the summer Dr. Julie Upton informed me of her desire to leave her position as Provost following the end of the 2011-12 academic year and return to the faculty. With great reluctance I have acceded to her request, knowing well her great love for and dedication to teaching and research.

Julie has served the University generously and competently during her twelve years as Provost. St. John’s is a stronger and better University because she has shared her special talents and remarkable creativity. In the months ahead, we shall have many opportunities to celebrate her accomplishments and express our gratitude for her service.

I have to add my praise.  To many in the Law School, the Provost’s role may be invisible.  But, as Chief Academic Officer of the University, Dr. Upton is ultimately responsible for all academic programs, including the Law School.  More to the point, she is my boss (and has been the boss of the three deans that preceded me).  And I can say with confidence that we are a stronger and better law school because of her steady, supportive, and skillful leadership.

After this year, Julie (or “Dr. J” as she is known affectionately by my children) will assume a new role as Distinguished Professor of Theology and Special Assistant to the President, a role that I know she will relish given her deep love for teaching and research.  But for the rest of this year, I will cherish having her as Provost.

Fr. Harrington has asked me to chair the committee that will lead the search for Julie’s successor. Julie will be hard to replace, but I look forward to playing a part in finding the next important leader for the University and the Law School.

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