The final candidates for senior vice president of academic affairs are Daniel Reed, Chaden Djalali and Wojtek Jan Chodzko-Zajko. Courtesy of the University of Utah.

As President Ruth Watkins steps into her new position, the search is on to find a replacement for the former senior vice president of academic affairs.

Watkins was the senior vice president of academic affairs since 2013. Her successor will be responsible for setting an academic focus and enhancing the University of Utah’s academic mission for undergraduate and graduate students. They will report to the president and oversee academic personnel, budget, student admissions, retention and institutional information resources.

“The University of Utah seeks in its new Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs a leader with vision for the advancement of higher education and scholarship, a record of success and innovation, a global perspective, and extraordinary energy,” the U wrote on its senior vice president for academic affairs search website. “The successful candidate will be a person of high integrity who will inspire the university community to new levels of excellence in scholarship, education and engagement across a complex, multi-faceted campus.”

There are three final candidates for the position.

The first candidate, Daniel Reed, earned his Ph.D. in computer science from Purdue University. He worked as the vice president for research and economic development at the University of Iowa from 2012 to 2017. He is currently the university computational science and bioinformatics chair and a professor of computer science, electrical and computer engineering and medicine at the same school, all of which he has held since 2012.

In the past, Reed worked at the University of North Carolina and the University of Illinois, where he held several academic positions, as well as working for Microsoft.

A public forum discussing Reed’s candidacy was held Monday, April 9.

The second candidate is Chaden Djalali. He earned his doctorate in nuclear physics from Institut de Physique Nucléaire d ’Orsay (IPN-Orsay) in Paris, France. He has been the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa since 2012, as well as a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Djalali has worked for the University of South Carolina, Michigan State University and IPN-Orsay.

Djalali’s forum was Wednesday, April 11.

The final candidate is Wojtek Jan Chodzko-Zajko. He obtained his Ph.D. at Purdue University. He is the current dean of the graduate college, interim dean of the College of Media and a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has worked as the head of several departments, an associate professor and a research fellow in the past. Chodzko-Zajko has worked at a number of institutions including Purdue University, the University of Alabama and Kent State University.

The forum for Chodzko-Zajko was held on Monday, April 16.

The senior vice president for academic affairs search website provides forms for members of the U’s community to give feedback on the candidates. It also includes each candidate’s curriculum vitae.

“We greatly appreciate your participation in this process,” the website read.



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