Fouad Abd-El-Khalick Selected as Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Chancellor Javier Reyes has announced that Fouad Abd-El-Khalick has been selected as the university’s next Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The announcement was made in the email below, which was sent to the university community on April 4.

Dear Campus Community,

I am pleased to announce that following a national search Fouad Abd-El-Khalick has been chosen to serve as our next Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Abd-El-Khalick’s career of more than two decades has been dedicated to the research, teaching, and service missions of pre-eminent, flagship public universities. For the past eight years, he has served as Dean of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also is a university Alumni Distinguished Professor. Previously, he spent 16 years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he served as Department Head and Associate Dean for Research in its renowned College of Education, won teaching and research awards – including being named University Scholar – and was invested as the Grayce Wicall Gauthier Professor of Education.

He has a distinguished record of achievement in promoting excellence and success university-wide, across academic disciplines. As an academic leader, he is a devoted champion of diversity, equity and inclusion, who has built programs that not only expand access for diverse students but also provide them the support required to ensure equitable educational outcomes.

An elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Dr. Abd-El-Khalick is a leading international science education researcher whose scholarly contributions on teaching and learning about nature of science have earned him the National Association for Research in Science Teaching’s top lifetime achievement honor, the 2022 Distinguished Contributions to Science Education through Research Award. He also was honored as sole winner of the 2021 Kuwait Prize in economics and social sciences (specifically, in educational sciences) from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS), which recognizes the stellar scholarly contributions over 20 or more years of Arab scientists across the globe.

At UNC–Chapel Hill, he increased the School of Education’s annual research expenditure from $5.7 to $22.2 million, expanding its capacity to serve learners and educators in North Carolina and beyond. Under his leadership, the school created and reimagined several undergraduate and graduate programs resulting in a 26% increase in residential student enrollment. He also secured generous public and private support to prepare high-quality educators from diverse backgrounds to effectively serve in North Carolina’s urban and rural schools.

Dr. Abd-El-Khalick earned his bachelor’s degree in biology, his secondary science teaching diploma, and his master’s degree in science education from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He received his doctorate in science education from Oregon State University.

I also want to express my appreciation to the search advisory committee, chaired by Mike Malone, Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Nathaniel Whitaker, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, served as co-chair. Members of the advisory committee included:

Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Professor of Anthropology, Director of W.E.B. Du Bois Center
Karen Giuliano, Professor of Nursing, Rules Committee Representative
Deb Gould, Vice Provost for Administration and Finance
Shane Hammond, Associate Dean for Student Success, College of Education
Erik Learned-Miller, Professor of Computer Science
Nandita Mani, Dean, University Libraries
Anne Massey, Dean, Isenberg School of Management
Gaurav Mitra, Graduate Student Senate
Asha Nadkarni, Associate Professor of English
Jennifer Normanly, Department Head and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Jon Olsen, Associate Professor of History
Shelly Perdomo-Ahmed, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life
Shannon Roberts, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Lindiwe Sibeko, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Nutrition
Kalpen Trivedi, Vice Provost for Global Affairs
Christine Wanjiru, Student Government Association
Wilmore Webley, Senior Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion
Jonathan Wynn, Department Chair and Professor of Sociology

Fouad will officially become part of our leadership team on July 1. Please join me in extending him a warm welcome to the UMass Amherst community.

Chancellor Javier Reyes