Message from Provost Sotiropoulos
Dear faculty colleagues,
I am honored today to begin my service as VCU’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. This new chapter is truly the most exciting of my academic career. VCU is a world class urban academic research institution uniquely positioned to take on the challenges of higher education in the 21st century -- to advance educational and research paradigms that break disciplinary silos; build networks of knowledge; solve society’s greatest problems; educate creative and compassionate problem solvers and lifelong learners; and provide an inclusive and welcoming environment where all can thrive.
I am eager to start working with you to take our institution to even greater heights of excellence. I hope that this brief introduction will provide insight into my leadership style and vision for our shared future.
Information about my academic background and career highlights have been posted online. My leadership style is one of mutual respect. It is my core philosophy that the most effective leader is one who trusts, includes and empowers people. An effective provost, therefore, engages a broad range of stakeholders in decision making, seeks advice and works hard to build consensus, but is willing to make decisions that may not satisfy everyone.
As your provost, I pledge to:
- Hold the excellence bar rigid and high in everything we do;
- Ensure transparency and broad participation of faculty in decision-making through a vibrant and engaged shared governance;
- Support the hiring and retention of outstanding, diverse faculty and staff while continuing and enhancing practices for supporting career advancement;
- Foster a community of scholars, among all disciplines and create an environment where cross-disciplinary and globally relevant research and creative expression flourish;
- Emphasize student recruitment, retention and success while advancing innovative educational programs and delivery modalities; and
- Demonstrate and promote diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the university.
I also call on you, working in partnership with your deans, department chairs, faculty colleagues and staff, to:
- Continue striving for excellence in your teaching, creative works, research, scholarship, and service;
- Intensify your efforts to ensure even greater success for our students in an inclusive and engaging environment for all; and
- Engage with your VCU Faculty Senate to ensure that you are well-informed and involved in the university’s shared governance structure.
Our journey together is just beginning and I look forward to many opportunities to engage with you in the coming months. Please join me at the Faculty/Staff Information Session on Aug. 4, at the first 2021-22 Faculty Club meeting on Sept. 1, and the annual VCU Faculty Convocation on Sept. 2.
I look forward to working collaboratively with you to build upon VCU’s strong foundation of excellence and rich legacy of societal impact and student and faculty success. I pledge to work tirelessly with all of you so that together we further augment our institution’s transformative impact on the lives of our students and society.
Fotis Sotiropoulos, Ph.D.
Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs