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Joan Saab named new vice provost of academic affairs

February 5, 2018

Vice provost of academic affairs and professor of art history Joan Saab (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster /)

Joan Saab, Susan B. Anthony Professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History in the School of Arts & Sciences, has been named vice provost of academic affairs, effective Feb. 1.

In this newly created position in the Office of the Provost, Saab will strategize and coordinate key efforts that advance the University’s academic missions, as well as guide the accreditations, assessments and policies related to academic personnel and academic affairs.  The position also serves on the President’s Cabinet and on the Board of Trustee’s Academic Affairs Committee.

The vice provost of academic affairs will also assume supervisory responsibility for some of the offices and individuals within the Provost’s Office, including:

University of Rochester Press, Office of Disability Compliance, Online Learning, the Memorial Art Gallery, and Academic Administration.

“Joan is highly respected by colleagues throughout the University for her teaching, scholarship and service, and has a great rapport with faculty and staff in both academic and administrative environments,” said Rob Clark, provost and senior vice president for research. “She shares the University’s strong commitment to diversity, and is often involved in the interdisciplinary programs and initiatives that help establish and grow connections throughout the University, making us an even stronger institution. I am excited to have Joan join our leadership team.”

Saab, who studies and teaches American art history and visual culture, was appointed the Susan B. Anthony Professor in 2016. She joined the University in 1999 and the Department of Art and Art History in 2005. From 2006 to 2012, she directed the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies, and since 2012 has been chair of the Department of Art and Art History.

Since 2006, Saab has served on the executive committee of the University’s Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African American Studies, and she has also served as curriculum director for the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Women and Gender Studies. She is on the executive board of the Memorial Art Gallery, and is the faculty director of the Program for Photographic Preservation and Collections Management, which is jointly administered through the University and the George Eastman Museum. She has received research and project funding from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Getty Research Center at UCLA.

“I am looking forward to working with the University’s outstanding faculty in this new position,” said Saab. “This is a unique moment for our institution, and I hope my new leadership role can contribute to moving the institution forward in a way that creates opportunities for collaboration among departments and programs, building bridges between previously unconnected units. I believe my perspective as a feminist and a scholar of the arts and humanities will support this work and I’m very excited to get started.”

Saab holds a bachelor’s degree in English and art history from Tufts University, a master’s degree in American Studies with a concentration in Material Culture and Museum Studies from George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University.

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