Katherine Black to Take on Interim Provost Role on July 1

April 04, 2022
Submitted By: Office of Marketing and Communication
Katherine Black headshot

Katherine Black has been appointed interim provost and vice president for academic affairs effective July 1, University of Hartford President Gregory Woodward has announced.

“I am grateful that Dr. Black has agreed to accept this important, temporary leadership role,” Woodward said. “The Board of Regents and I are fully committed to prepare for an open national search process with the support and engagement of the full faculty. We will begin this conversation with the Faculty Senate and, together, will determine our next steps.”

As dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2014. Black has launched several new degree programs, including data science, digital media and journalism, computer science and engineering, organizational psychology (online), and integrated communication (online). She has hired more than 50 tenure-track and clinical faculty and increased engagement and staffing for college enrollment efforts. Black has raised more than $1 million for scholarships, faculty development, and student research/internships. She introduced new Learning Beyond the Classroom and Career Preparation requirements into the A&S general education curriculum; facilitated significant diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice initiatives; and created an Outstanding Faculty Award and Board of Advisors Alumni Award. She also served as a site visitor for the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE) accreditation.

Mark Blackwell headshot

Woodward also announced that Mark Blackwell, professor of English and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will assume the role of interim dean of A&S during this transition.

Blackwell began at the University of Hartford in 2001 after four years as an assistant professor at California State University, Chico. He was tenured and advanced to associate professor in 2004 and was promoted to professor of English in 2011.

Blackwell has held a number of important roles across the University, including chair of the English Department (2004–08), chair of the Department of Rhetoric and Professional Writing (2005–08), director of the University Honors Program (2009–10), director of the University Preceptor Program (2009–19), and associate dean for curriculum and academic planning in the College of Arts and Sciences (2010–15, 2019–present). He was previously charged with transforming the undergraduate educational experience at the University in our past strategic planning process, and worked with colleagues to implement high-impact practices (HIPs) across the curriculum.

Blackwell earned an AB in English from Princeton University, summa cum laude. He received his PhD from Cornell University, where he was awarded the Guilford Essay Prize for the dissertation exhibiting the highest standard of excellence in English prose.

“Katherine and Mark have each expressed how much the University of Hartford means to them, both personally and professionally.” Woodward added. “I look forward to working with them during this transition.”