Dr. Carol A. Fierke, a noted scholar and academic leader from the University of Michigan, has been named provost and executive vice president at Texas A&M University. Following an international search, she was selected over 140 applicants and will assume her new duties on Oct. 16.
“I am exceptionally pleased that Dr. Fierke will be our next executive vice president and provost. As chief academic officer, and as the second in charge for the University, she will contribute greatly to the leadership of Texas A&M,” Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young said. “We look forward to benefitting from her experiences as an academic leader, scholar and advocate for higher education.”
Dr. Fierke currently serves as Dean of the Rackham Graduate School and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs — Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan. In addition, she is holder of the Jerome and Isabella Karle Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry. She holds this appointment in the College of Literature, Science & Arts, as well as professor of biochemistry in the Medical School.
A world leader in her field, Fierke is the recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Repligen Award in Chemistry of Biological Processes and the Protein Society’s Emil Thomas Kaiser Award for her contributions in the application of chemistry to the study of enzymes. Her interdisciplinary research team of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and fellow faculty focuses on the structure, function and biological relevance of metalloenzymes and RNA catalysts and the development of enzyme inhibitors as therapeutic agents. Her research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, and has been funded by a number of other agencies and foundations, including the National Science Foundation, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Office of Naval Research and Keck Foundation.
She has been recognized for her teaching and curricular innovations to education at the University of Michigan where her influence has been noted by undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives.
Dr. Fierke received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Brandeis University and a bachelor of arts in chemistry from Carleton College. She completed post-doctoral training at Pennsylvania State University and served on the faculty at Duke University before joining University of Michigan in 1999, where she has served as the department chair for chemistry (2005-2015) and vice provost and dean for graduate studies since 2015.
She has been honored for improving the campus environment for faculty and students, especially women in science, including active involvement with the University of Michigan ADVANCE program for highlighting diversity and excellence. She has won numerous awards and honors, including the 2016 American Chemical Society’s National Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, sponsored by the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.
“I’m greatly honored to be selected to serve in this important leadership role at Texas A&M University,” Fierke said in a statement. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues to further enhance excellence in transformational learning, discovery and innovation, and significant social and professional impact.”
Over the next few months, Dr. Fierke will complete her duties at Michigan as vice provost and dean and transition projects and personnel in her research laboratory before assuming her duties as provost and executive vice president at Texas A&M.
“I want to acknowledge the outstanding service and great success achieved by the members of the search advisory committee chaired by Dr. Pam Matthews, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Dr. Valen Johnson, University Distinguished Professor and Head, Department of Statistics, “ stated President Young.
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