The University of Miami has announced four finalists for Provost

After months of research, the University of Miami announced four finalists for Provost. The finalists are Elizabeth Mullenix, Lynn Okagaki, Karin Ruhlandt and Jeanette Altarriba.

Currently, the position is held on an interim basis by Mullenix following the resignation of former provost Jason Osborne in April. Osborne’s resignation came just days before a committee set up to assess his performance was to deliver its final report. He is currently a special assistant to the president before moving to a professorship in 2023.

Each finalist will hold open forums for the Miami community to ask questions. Forums will be held at campuses in Oxford, Hamilton and Middletown in Miami, and attendees are asked to give their thoughts on each nominee afterwards. Complete applicant information can also be found on the University Provost’s Search page.

Elisabeth Mullenix

Photo by the University of Miami | The Miami Student

Mullenix has been acting provost since July.

Prior to his stint in the Office of Academic Affairs, Mullenix worked as a professor and chair of the Miami Theater Department. In 2013, she was chosen to be acting dean of the College of Creative Arts before assuming the role permanently in 2014.

Prior to his time in Miami, Mullenix worked at Illinois State University (ISU). During her 11 years at ISU, she served as Associate President of the School of Theater, Director of the Master of Theater Program, Director of Graduate Studies, and Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts.

Mullenix earned her BA in Theater and English from the University of Vermont and her Ph.D. in theater studies from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Forums open Wednesday, November 16

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., 319 Kreger Hall, Oxford Campus

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10:30 – 11:00 a.m., 136-137 Johnston Hall, Middletown Campus

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Wilks Conference Center A, Hamilton Campus

Lynn Okagaki

Photo by University of Delaware | The Miami Student

Okagaki is currently Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Delaware (UD). Before being appointed to the position in 2016, Okagaki spent five years as dean of UD’s College of Education and Human Development.

She has held positions at several universities, including Purdue University, and has held positions at Yale University, Cornell University, and the University of Houston. Prior to UD, Okagaki worked for the U.S. Department of Education as Commissioner of Educational Research at the Institute of Educational Sciences.

Okagaki received his bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science from the University of California, Davis and his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University.

Forums open Friday, November 18

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., 319 Kreger Hall, Oxford Campus

10:30 – 11:00 a.m., 136-137 Johnston Hall, Middletown Campus

11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Wilks Seminar Room 3, Hamilton Campus

Karin Ruhlandt

Syracuse University Photo | The Miami Student

Ruhlandt is currently Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Syracuse University. She joined the university’s chemistry department in 1991 and became chair of the chemistry department in 2009, when she also became a distinguished professor, the first woman in the science department to do so at Syracuse.

Ruhlandt also served as acting dean of the Syracuse College of Arts and Sciences in 2013 and became official dean in 2014. Ruhlandt resigned at the end of June 2022. During her tenure as dean, she led a program called ADVANCE, who worked to increase the number of female students in STEM programs.

Ruhlandt wasn’t always in Syracuse, however, nor did she work solely in America. She is originally from Germany, where she studied chemistry at the Philipps-Universitat-Marburg. In 2003, she was a visiting professor at Monash University, Australia, and at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. In 2013, a Fulbright scholarship enabled him to teach as a visiting professor at the Technical University of Graz, Austria.

Some of Ruhlant’s awards include the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in 2012, an annual award from Syracuse, and the National Science Foundation Career Award, which recognizes faculty who exemplify the teacher-scholar model and includes a federal grant of five years for research.

Forums open Wednesday, November 30

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., 319 Kreger Hall, Oxford Campus

10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m., 136-137 Johnston Hall, Middletown Campus

11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Wilks Seminar Room 3, Hamilton Campus

Jeannette Altarriba

Photo by University of Albany | The Miami Student

Altarriba is the current Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She joined the university in 1992 in the psychology department. Her previous positions at the university include Acting Dean and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Chair of the Departments of Psychology and Communications, and Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education.

Altarriba has been a professor in the Departments of Psychology and Latin American, Caribbean and Latin American Studies. Altarriba’s research focuses on the psychology of language, psycholinguistics, bilingualism and cross-cultural psychology. She has also published over 80 peer-reviewed articles.

Altarriba received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Florida International University and a doctorate in cognitive psychology from Vanderbilt University. She completed postdoctoral research training at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Forums open Friday, December 2

12:45 – 1:15 p.m., 319 Kreger Hall, Oxford Campus

2:15 – 2:45 p.m., 136-137 Johnston Hall, Middletown Campus

3:30-4:00 p.m., Wilks Conference Center, Hamilton Campus

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