Proud to be your colleague

Dear friends,

I am writing to introduce myself as the University of Oregon’s new provost and senior vice president. As you may know, President Michael Schill asked me in February to join this outstanding institution and I was delighted to accept. I arrived on campus last week, but I have been working with my future colleagues over the last few months to prepare for my transition. I am very grateful to Scott Coltrane for his support and friendship. I am very much looking forward to working with all of you to enhance the excellence of our university.

As my first official act as provost, it is my pleasure to announce that we have selected Scott Pratt as our new executive vice provost for academic affairs (EVP) following an internal search that generated an outstanding pool of candidates. Scott has served as vice provost and dean of the Graduate School since March 2015. In his graduate dean position, Pratt expanded and energized the UO’s doctoral programs, supporting President Schill’s priority of increasing academic excellence and research productivity. During his more than 20-year career at the UO, Pratt, a professor of philosophy, has served as director of graduate studies in the philosophy department, as well as department head, associate dean of the humanities, and director of undergraduate studies for the philosophy department. He has published seven books and dozens of articles and has received a Williams Fellowship for Outstanding University Teaching. Pratt’s appointment is effective immediately. He will continue to serve at the graduate dean until an interim dean is appointed.

Pratt’s appointment as EVP is part of the new leadership structure of the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs (OPAA). This leadership structure is designed to advance the university’s strategic goals and create more focused, nimble, and sustainable support for our academic programs, units, faculty, and initiatives. Scott will focus on defining and implementing high-priority academic initiatives for the university. Brad Shelton will serve as executive vice provost for academic operations where he will develop our academic budget model and support academic planning. Associate vice president and chief of staff to the provost, Melanie Muenzer, will continue in her leadership role, helping to accomplish our academic aspirations. We will also hire a new vice provost for academic affairs this year.

Please join me in congratulating Scott Pratt on his new position. I am very happy to have Melanie, Scott, Brad, and all of the OPAA staff at my side as I get to know the campus and gain greater insights into our university. My office will host a series of events in late summer and early fall as the academic year starts so that I may meet directly with faculty and staff. I am delighted to be your colleague and am very proud to be your partner in advancing the University of Oregon’s academic mission.


Jayanth Banavar
Provost and Senior Vice President