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Welcome Mary Clark, DU's New Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

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Jeremy Haefner

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Dear Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to share the news that Mary Clark will be joining the DU community as provost on July 15, 2020.

Mary’s academic and administrative credentials are exemplary. She rose up as someone who can help strengthen and advance our academic programs with intelligence, imagination, foresight and camaraderie. I have been deeply impressed with her experience, her approach to complex issues and her knack for asking great questions. 

Mary comes to DU from American University in Washington, D.C., where she has most recently been serving as deputy provost and dean of faculty. Mary previously served as dean of academic affairs and senior vice provost for four years before serving as interim provost from July 2018–January 2019. In these senior leadership roles, Mary has overseen American University’s Study Abroad Programs, Career Center, International Accelerator Program and Center on Teaching, Research and Learning. She also has led the implementation of strategic planning goals related to teaching and learning, inclusive pedagogy, experiential education, interdisciplinary education and the scholar-teacher ideal.

Terri Davis, co-chair of the provost search committee says, “Mary will provide leadership in a collaborative and instructive way, paying attention to details, addressing difficult and complex situations and appreciating the knowledge and dedication each campus member provides to DU.”

While serving as interim provost, Mary led faculty engagement with American University’s strategic plan. She also worked closely with the board of trustees, in particular, the academic affairs committee. She has deep knowledge of governance issues, informed, in part, by her position as a tenured faculty member at American University’s Washington College of Law, and through numerous administrative appointments there. She has served as a member of the board of Bryn Mawr College for the last nine years, and she also has worked closely on philanthropic efforts to support academic and co-curricular experiences.

In accepting the appointment as provost Mary says, “DU is an extraordinarily dynamic and exciting community. I can’t wait to get started and to get to know and work with DU’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and alumnae, and broader community.”

The Sturm College of Law faculty voted yesterday to extend an appointment to Mary as a tenured full professor of law. In addition to her tenured appointment at American University, Mary also brings teaching experience from both Yale Law School and Georgetown University Law Center. 

Mary has proved herself to be a true university citizen, serving on numerous committees at American University, including the presidential search committee and on numerous deans’ searches. Her external service includes serving as a visiting team member for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, as president of the Washington Council of Lawyers and as a member of the Legal Ethics Committee of the D.C. Bar.

Darrin Hicks, co-chair of the search committee says, “Mary is a dedicated servant leader, who is a passionate advocate of the liberal arts, and also the graduate and professional education that define DU. She brings with her a proven track record in achieving diversity, equity and inclusion across campus, promoting the teacher-scholar model that is so important to our students and faculty, and fostering decision-making practices that ensure shared governance.”

Throughout her career, Mary has been actively involved in community service including as a member of the Council on Diversity and Equity, Washington Latin Public Charter School as well as the Middle States Reaccreditation Self-Study Team for Schools Without Walls, a magnet public high school in Washington D.C.

Mary earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College. Her publications include:

  • Introducing a Parliamentary Confirmation Process for New Supreme Court Justices: Its Pros and Cons, and Lessons Learned from the U.S. Experience
  • My Brethren’s (Gate) Keeper? Testimony by U.S. Judges at Others’ Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings 
  • Carter’s Groundbreaking Appointment of Women to the Federal Bench: His Other ‘Human Rights’ Record 
  • Changing the Face of the Law: How Women’s Advocacy Groups Put Women on the Federal Judicial Appointments Agenda

Mary is the proud mother of twin sons, Harry and Isaac, high school seniors who are off to college (plural!) in the fall.  Mary and her sons are very excited to get to know Denver.

I want to take a moment to extend my deepest gratitude to Corinne Lengsfeld who has served so capably as interim provost and executive vice chancellor this past year. Corinne has navigated one of the most complex periods in DU’s recent history, including an unforeseen leadership change and now, a global pandemic. In spite of these unprecedented circumstances, Corinne has never missed a beat, working strategically and in close collaboration with her faculty colleagues and deans, her fellow cabinet members and of course, with me, in very close partnership. When we are able to gather again in person, I hope you will join me in celebrating all that Corinne has done for DU over the past year and for most of her professional career. 

Finally, I want to express my gratitude for the terrific and deeply thoughtful work done by the search committee, including:

Terri M. Davis, co-chair, associate professor and director, PsyD program, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Darrin Hicks, co-chair, professor, Department of Communications Studies and chair of the Faculty Senate
Katherine Aliaga, assistant dean of finance and operations, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Doug Allen, associate professor, Daniels College of Business
Katherine Archuleta, trustee
Gillian Breuer, dual degree student (undergraduate business and graduate public policy)
Mary Sue Coleman, trustee (serving in an advisory capacity)
Donny Gerke, assistant professor, Graduate School of Social Work
Don Harris, vice chancellor and chief information officer 
Andrei Kutateladze, dean, Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Michael McGuire, dean, University College
Denise O’Leary, chair, Board of Trustees
Cecelia Orphan, assistant professor, Morgridge College of Education
Susanne Sherba, teaching professor, Department of Computer Science
Staffed by Claire Brownell, director of university protocols 

Please help me congratulate Mary and welcome her to the DU family. I know you will enjoy working with her when she arrives this summer.

Jeremy Haefner, Chancellor