University of Alabama names new associate provosts

University of Alabama names new associate provosts

Bryan Hester - University of Ala

Dr. Jennifer Greer was appointed as the new associate provost for administration. (Photo Courtesy of UA Media Relations)

Brett Dunn, Mary Catherine Connors

Kevin Whitaker and Patricia Sobecky were appointed as associate provosts for academic affairs, while Jennifer Greer was appointed as associate provost for administration.

Whitaker came to the University in 1987 and was the associate dean for academic programs in the College of Engineering. Whitaker said he is essentially replacing Mark Nelson, who recently became Dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences and was formerly vice Provost and vice President for student affairs.

Whitaker was initially interested in the position of Associate Provost because of his passion for the education process, and his duties will include overseeing the core curriculum and the coordination of new majors, minors, tracks and concentrations.

“While in the College of Engineering, I greatly enjoyed working with colleagues from all across campus and representing the University to prospective students and parents,” Whitaker said. “The position of Associate Provost would allow me to continue following my passion and those valued working relationships.”

Whitaker said his ultimate goal is to continue increasing the momentum and excitement that currently exists on this campus.

“I want The University of Alabama to be known for its curricular innovation and academic prowess,” he said.

Sobecky came to the University from Georgia Tech in 2009 to be the chair of the department of biological sciences.

Sobecky said she was drawn to the position because she wants to help bolster the exciting changes taking place across campus.

“To have an opportunity to contribute in some way to these academic activities at the institutional level, to build on the many successes already happening across campus and to be able to work with the outstanding leadership team in the Office of Academic Affairs was what drew me to apply to the position,” said Sobecky.

Sobecky’s overarching goal is to continue enhancing the University’s strong academic reputation. Her duties will include serving as the liaison for programs such as First Generation Scholars, Alabama Reach, Center for Academic Success, the Advisors Council and Faculty Awards.

Dot Martin, who was the previous Associate Provost, retired after more than forty years at the University, and Greer will take over the position after chairing the journalism department and serving as interim dean for the College of Communication & Information Sciences.

“Having been in C&IS for seven years and stepping down as interim dean, I felt it was time for a new challenge. I’ve always wanted to learn more about the larger University operations, and then I saw this job open up,” Greer said. “So the timing was good. I really saw this as a job where I could contribute to UA’s mission but also learn a lot in the process.”

“The jobs are very different, and that’s really what excites me,” she said. “It’s a new challenge, and I just want to do the best job possible.”