Gretchen Ritter, vice provost for undergraduate education and faculty governance at The University of Texas at Austin, will be leaving the university to serve as the first female dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University.
"I am pleased and excited to be returning to Cornell, my alma mater, but I will also be sorry to leave my friends, colleagues and students here at UT Austin," said Ritter.
"I have been at UT for more than 20 years, and it has been a real privilege over the last four years to work in the provost's office with our exceptional provost, Steven Leslie, and our other vice provosts. I believe we have been successful in moving the university forward in several areas, and I have no doubt that with strong leadership the university will continue to advance in the years to come. I will always have a special place in my heart for UT Austin."
As vice provost, Ritter oversees undergraduate curriculum, faculty legislation, academic advising, university standing committees and campus-wide teaching awards. During her tenure in the provost's office, she successfully implemented the Course Transformation Program, refashioning large undergraduate courses by raising the standards of rigor and incorporating the latest in technology, resulting in improved grades and student retention.
On the UT faculty since 1992, Ritter is the former director of the Center for Women's and Gender Studies and co-chair of the Gender Equity Task Force. She received several fellowships and awards, including a National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship, the Radcliffe Research Partnership Award and a Liberal Arts Fellowship at Harvard Law School. She has published three books as well as numerous articles and essays.
"Gretchen has been a key leader on our campus in many ways over the course of her career, but particularly important in recent years has been her leadership as vice provost for undergraduate programs," said Steven Leslie, executive vice president and provost. "Her work on our Course Transformation Program over past three years has laid out a strong platform for technology-based learning that will take our campus into the future. Gretchen's leadership on our campus will be missed.". Ritter received a bachelor's degree in government from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Her appointment at Cornell is effective August 1, 2013.