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Provost - Open Dore E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

February 2021

Dear colleagues –

I shared the below message on January 31st with provost-reporting faculty and my academic affairs staff regarding the announcement of my upcoming new role at Wake Forest University, and I am posting here as my February Open Dore to convey my gratitude to the broader Vanderbilt community. The outpouring of congrats and well wishes has been heartening. My sincerest thanks for your partnership across the years, and I am truly looking forward to our continued work together in this spring semester.


Susan R. Wente

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs


As you may have read or heard by now, I have accepted the invitation to serve as the 14th president of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, beginning July 1, 2021.

I am, and always will be, deeply grateful to the Vanderbilt community. In 2002, you welcomed me with open arms, and for nearly two decades, we have worked side-by-side to advance this university’s impact. This community also invested in me by giving me the opportunity to serve as a faculty member, researcher, mentor and administrator. With trust, transparency and teamwork, we have accomplished so much together: We developed and implemented the Academic Strategic Plan, launched the first Office for Inclusive Excellence, implemented Immersion Vanderbilt, advanced steadily in national rankings and were named among the most innovative universities in the world. And we anchored down and stepped up to continue our education and research mission amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But what I will remember most are the people of Vanderbilt. My time here has been marked by deep and enriching relationships with so many of you, relationships that were further forged and deepened over the past year. My pride in and gratitude for this community was never stronger than when we were forced to face the challenges brought about by the pandemic. To walk through a crisis together is to form a bond not easily broken. We banded together and cared for one another as we navigated the unknown and uncertain and emerged stronger for it.

In the months ahead, I will continue to work to pursue our shared goals. As you’ve heard me say before, there is no pause button at Vanderbilt, and I am committed to the essential work that lies ahead this spring semester. We still have much to accomplish, and I look forward to continuing to work together during the remainder of my time here.

I love Vanderbilt, its people and our community deeply. While it was not an easy decision for me to leave this special place, or the city that has been my family’s home, I am tremendously excited about what lies ahead and the opportunity to serve the Wake Forest community as its president. Know that, although I will no longer be serving Vanderbilt, I look forward to watching and cheering on your future success.


Susan R. Wente, Ph.D.

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs



Lessons Learned from the Fall 2020 Semester – January 2021

Academic Affairs Highlights from the Fall 2020 Semester – December 2020


Faculty Return to Campus

Staff Return to Campus

Research Ramp-up 

Faculty Adaptive Teaching Resources

Case Dashboard

Occupational Health 

Public Health Command Center 

Stay in the Loop!

Follow the Office of the Provost on Twitter

Spring Return to Campus updates are now being distributed via email on Wednesdays and are targeted to specific audiences. You can also view the communications in the community messages section of the Return to Campus site.

Vanderbilt University announces launch of new data science minor in fall 2021

Driven by the growing interest on the part of the data science community at Vanderbilt for an undergraduate program in data science, a new minor will launch in fall 2021. Read more here.

Scientists discuss inclusion and equity in biomedical research at virtual event

Biomedical researchers across Vanderbilt University will convene to discuss the history and impact of Black biomedical scientists on Monday, Feb. 15, at noon CT. “From Inclusion to Equity: The Story of Black Biomedical Scientists,” is free and open to the public. Registration is required.   

Webinar series for faculty seeking federal research funding begins Feb. 23

Research Development and Support will host a series of webinars this spring for faculty seeking research funding from federal sponsors. The webinars are aimed at helping faculty diversify and strategically identify potential federal sponsors, develop relationships with sponsors and craft highly competitive proposals. More here.


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