Back to News

Jan 20, 2016

Update for faculty, Spring 2016

Provost updates

Gail Hackett, Ph.D.

Dear VCU Faculty,

I’m writing to provide a few updates from Academic Affairs that are of particular importance for faculty. You can also stay up to date by following me on Twitter at @VCUProvost.

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

  • Faculty Resources on Inclusive Classrooms: Many faculty members have shared that they would benefit from additional resources on effective ways of supporting challenging discussions in their classrooms, developing truly inclusive educational experiences or handling situations when offensive statements are made. A collection of resources that focus on these classroom situations and support the development of inclusive classrooms is available here.
  • New course for students: VCU is offering a one-credit, pass-fail course this semester on issues of diversity and inclusion. The course, Learning in Safe Spaces (UNIV 291-007) is open to all students. The faculty have stated a vision “for the syllabus to be co-created by students, with each week featuring a different discussion topic/catalyst led by a different person or set of persons, with the listed instructors serving as guides and facilitators.” To learn more, visit the course webpage
  • Five proposals selected for iCubed Cores: In fall 2015 iCubed launched a request for proposals for the Transdisciplinary Cores to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in Urban-focused Research, Creative Activity and Scholarship. Ten proposals were submitted. Read about the five selected here.

Date to Remember

  • Third Annual State of the University Address: Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 11 a.m. in the University Student Commons. Please RSVP today! If you are unable to attend, you can watch live online.
  • Add/Drop extended: Because of the recent snow closings, the add/drop period for the spring 2016 semester has been extended through Monday, February 1, 2016. 


  • Dr. Katherine Bassard, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, began her new role on December 1, 2015. Dr. Bassard has been at VCU since 1999 and has previously served as chair of the Department of English and assistant dean in the College of Humanities and Sciences.
  • Dr. Deborah Noble-Triplett, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, joined the VCU family on January 11. Dr. Noble-Triplett most recently served as assistant vice president in the offices of Academic Affairs and Human Resources for the University of Missouri System.
  • Dr. Timothy Davey has been promoted to Vice Provost for Faculty Recruitment and Retention after having served as assistant vice provost since 2012. Dr. Davey previously served as associate dean for research and community engagement in the School of Social Work.
  • Dr. Andrew Daire has been appointed as dean of the VCU School of Education, effective June 1, 2016. Dr. Daire currently serves as the associate dean for research in the College of Education at the University of Houston.

Refocused Quest for Distinction

  • The university’s strategic plan, Quest for Distinction, was refreshed last fall to position the university to complete the plan in the strongest position possible. Visit to review the three themes, seven goals and 16 strategies.

As I prepare to celebrate my first anniversary as provost of this great university, I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress we are making. VCU faculty are among the finest I’ve had the opportunity to work with, and I thank you for your continued dedication to the university and our students.

Best wishes,

Gail Hackett, Ph.D.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs