Changes to the Graduate School

March 16, 2021 

Dear Colleagues,

Earlier this year, the Office of the Provost began a review of the administrative structure of the UO Graduate School. As part of the review, my leadership team consulted with the deans of the schools and colleges, Senate leadership, the Graduate Council, the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation, and staff of the Graduate School. The ultimate goal of this effort is to ensure the structure is best aligned to support the graduate programs within each school and college, and to continue to build excellence in graduate education at the University of Oregon.

Today, I am writing to let you know that beginning with spring term, the UO Graduate School and its administration will be brought under the oversight of Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Janet Woodruff-Borden. The daily operations of the Graduate School will be managed by a new vice provost of graduate studies, and we will soon be launching an internal search to fill the position. Associate Dean Andy Karduna will continue to provide leadership in the graduate school in an interim role until the position is filled on a permanent basis. The search will be chaired by Phil Scher, divisional dean of social sciences for the College of Arts and Sciences. The remaining details of the search process with be communicated in due time as they develop.

This move is intended to streamline the administrative structure of the Graduate School so that more resources can be devoted to directly supporting the operations that influence efficacy and graduate student support within all UO schools and colleges. Most importantly, moving the graduate school under Academic Affairs provides an opportunity to create a more holistic and self-reinforcing approach to professional development in teaching and scholarly activities for both faculty and graduate students. Janet is particularly well suited to helping develop these new efforts as she served as vice provost and dean of the Graduate School when she came to UO in the summer of 2018. Under her supervision and with Andy’s depth of experience at the Graduate School, I am confident that there will be a smooth transition to this new structure.

The decision to bring the Graduate School into the Office of the Provost decidedly does not affect our commitment to graduate education at the university. Indeed, our goal is to further strengthen it because our graduate students are vital to the mission of our institution. We will continue to maintain an excellent environment for all graduate students to study, research, teach, and pursue their academic degrees. All of these activities, of course, occur directly within individual departments and research groups, and not within the graduate school itself.

Kate Mondloch, currently the Graduate School’s interim vice provost and dean, has decided to return to the faculty after winter term. She will be assuming a joint appointment as professor of contemporary art and theory in the College of Design’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture and as faculty in residence within the Clark Honors College. Please join me in thanking Kate for her leadership. She has been a tireless advocate for graduate faculty and graduate students, providing the university with steady leadership of our programming throughout the upheavals of the pandemic.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at or Janet at Take care, and I hope your winter term has been a good one.


Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President