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Mar 18, 2016

Provost Weekly Update: March 18, 2016

Provost updates

Author: Gail Hackett, Ph.D.

This month I celebrated my one-year anniversary as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University! This is an amazing university. 

In the spirit of transparency I’m launching the Provost’s Weekly Update (online at to provide regular updates on activities within academic affairs at VCU as well as current issues or events related to academic affairs. I hope that, in addition to keeping you better informed, this communications approach will encourage discussions with me, the academic leadership team and each other. Remember, you can always contact me through email ( and via Twitter (@VCUprovost).

The topic of this week’s update is administrative hires.

At a recent meeting of the VCU Faculty Senate I was asked if VCU is hiring administrative faculty at a higher rate than teaching and research (T&R) faculty, which is a common perception.

The reality is that between 2010 and 2015 the ranks of A&P faculty DID increase by 38.9%, but the increase was entirely due to hiring more "professional faculty" -- including advisors, student affairs staff (counseling center, tutoring, wellness, etc.) and athletics (coaches, assistant coaches, coordinators, etc.). This category went up 71% between 2010 and 2015. In that same period “administrative faculty” DECLINED 15.4%, with the biggest drop in this category occurring this past year.

Unfortunately, one of the reasons for the misperception may be that we announce administrative appointments broadly so that everyone hears about them. However, teaching and research faculty hires are not widely broadcast. I think this venue is a terrific avenue for making those announcements. Click here to view our new T&R faculty hires from January - February, 2016.