UA names new vice provost for academic planning


Elizabeth A. Reilly

In an effort to continue on the course for setting a new Gold Standard of university performance through Vision 2020, The University of Akron’s Strategic Plan, Senior Vice President, Provost and Chief Operating Officer W. Michael “Mike” Sherman, following an internal search, has named Elizabeth A. Reilly, a C. Blake McDowell Jr. Professor of Law at the UA School of Law, to the newly created position of vice provost for academic planning in the Office of Academic Affairs, pending approval of the University's Board of Trustees. Reilly began her academic career at Akron Law in 1980.

Reilly begins her new duties full time on July 1.

As vice provost for academic planning, Reilly will be responsible for strategic planning; academic budgeting; space and facilities; academic support unit review; strategic community, business and government outreach and partnership efforts, particularly P-30 strategies; international academic strategies; and maintaining a strong commitment to inclusive excellence and diversity.

Offers faculty and administrative expertise

"I am pleased to welcome Professor Elizabeth Reilly to the Office of Academic Affairs," said Sherman. "As we prepare to implement Vision 2020: The New Gold Standard of University Performance, she brings a wide range and depth of faculty and administrative expertise. Her exemplary record of achievements will serve the University well as we continue to align our business practices to most effectively and efficiently accomplish the academic mission to help our students succeed."

Reilly began her career at UA as an adjunct professor at Akron Law and joined the faculty full time in 1984. From 1995-2009, Reilly served as associate dean of academic affairs. She currently teaches torts, lawyers as leaders and sexual orientation and the law, with her research focusing on the intersections between individual and collective interests in areas such as legal history, reproductive choice, gender identity, juvenile justice and tort damages.

She is the author of numerous articles and is the editor and a contributor to "Infinite Hope and Finite Disappointment: The Story of the First Interpreters of the 14th Amendment," to be published by UA Press in 2011.

"We are both sad and pleased that Elizabeth Reilly has been selected to be the new vice provost for academic planning," said Martin H. Belsky, dean of the UA School of Law. "We are sad that we will not have her immediate presence as an outstanding teacher, scholar and friend; however, we are pleased that the University will have the service of one of the most outstanding administrators I have had the pleasure to work with."

Longtime campus leader

A recognized leader on campus, Reilly has played an active role at the University. She was chair of the President's Commission on Equity, and served on numerous task forces for the president and provost, including the Diversity Committee, the RTP Task Force, the Academic Salary Affairs Task Force, the Program Review Task Force, and the Institute for Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee. A member of the first class of women to attend Princeton University, she majored in English Language and Literature and was graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She received a J.D. at Akron Law, where she graduated first in her class.

"It's the right time for The University of Akron to have someone in place to facilitate the good work that's going on right now and to help focus our energies to accomplish even more," Reilly said of the vice provost position. "The campus will have the tools to work together and connect faculty across colleges to achieve the University's goals of student success, global relevance and meaningful collaboration with the wider community, with all of that having a ripple effect as UA moves from strategic planning to strategic doing."

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