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KU selects vice provost for Undergraduate Studies

Monday, November 02, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will have a new vice provost for undergraduate studies in January. DeAngela Burns-Wallace, currently the assistant vice provost for undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri, will join KU near the start of the spring semester.

“DeAngela Burns-Wallace is a passionate educator and administrator who has successfully shepherded efforts that positively affect student success,” said Sara Rosen, senior vice provost for academic affairs. “During the 2013-14 academic year, she was placed at KU as an American Council on Education Emerging Leaders Fellow and demonstrated just how knowledgeable and vibrant she is. I am very excited we were able to bring DeAngela back to KU. Our goal to increase student academic success, progression and graduation requires insight, focus and a keen understanding of the challenges students face. Her leadership, distinctive background and international experience make her an extraordinary choice for this pivotal position at KU. I know that with her leadership, we will be able to improve student academic success and help students reach their graduation goals.”  

Burns-Wallace, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, will also have a faculty courtesy appointment in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the School of Education. The vice provost of Undergraduate Studies has primary focus on undergraduate education at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. She will be responsible for retention and progression to graduation for undergraduate students, and she will work with the leadership in undergraduate studies to implement retention efforts in collaboration with others across campus. The vice provost works with the University Core Curriculum Committee to set the agenda and to ensure processes are developed for managing the KU Core.

“The mission of the Office of Undergraduate Studies is to advocate for and strategically advance undergraduate education at the University of Kansas,” Burns-Wallace said. “I love that ‘advocate’ is at the heart of the mission. I do not take lightly the opportunity to be the ‘lead advocate’ for undergraduate studies in partnership with the world-renowned and dedicated faculty and staff. Undergraduate studies feeds the heart of the institution. Supporting every student’s pursuit of learning, every student’s evolution of self, every student’s overall success is a humbling and exciting opportunity. The role of the vice provost of undergraduate studies truly provides a unique situation that aligns with my passions, strengths and experiences to create real, substantive opportunities for students that change their lives.” 

As assistant vice provost at MU, Burns-Wallace is responsible for a comprehensive student success plan that addresses all student populations and brings together all academic divisions and the offices of Undergraduate Studies, Enrollment Management, Diversity & Equity and Student Affairs. As an ACE Emerging Leaders Fellow, Burns-Wallace worked directly with KU’s senior leadership as well as took part in more than 30 site visits at institutions and education agencies across the country. 

Prior to her fellowship, she served almost five years as assistant vice provost and director of access initiatives for enrollment management at MU. In this capacity she coordinated various strategic access, recruitment and retention initiatives, and she created the university’s statewide college access strategy with an emphasis on increasing college-going culture across the state. 

From 2004 to 2009, Burns-Wallace was assistant dean of undergraduate admissions at Stanford University, where she managed a highly selective freshman and transfer student admission process, served as a faculty freshman and transfer adviser, and led efforts that increased the ethnic/racial, social-economic, and first-generation diversity of the undergraduate population.

Before focusing on higher education, Burns-Wallace held a number of positions in the U.S. Department of State as a foreign service officer in positions based in Pretoria, South Africa; Beijing, and Guangzhou, China, and Washington, D.C. She was trained in Mandarin Chinese and French. Burns-Wallace earned bachelor’s degrees in international relations and African-American studies from Stanford University, a master’s of public affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

As a native of the region, Burns-Wallace brings a commitment to her global and local community demonstrated through her service on various boards of directors and advisory boards, including service to the Stanford University Alumni Association, Heart of Missouri United Way, Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, College Horizon, Infinite Scholars and the College Board, to name a few. She is also the proud parent of a vibrant and inquisitive first-grader, Xavier Burns Wallace.

The vice provost role at KU is multifaceted and oversees activities of a number of campus offices and programs tied to student progress and success. The vice provost provides direction for experiential learning, First-Year Experience, the Center for Undergraduate Research and the academic support services, including the Undergraduate Advising Center, the Academic Achievement and Access Center, the KU Writing Center, the University Career Center and KU Info.

“I appreciate the hard work of the search committee and its chair, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Journalism and Mass Communications Tom Volek,” Rosen said. “The committee presented several highly talented candidates for consideration, which ensured a great outcome for KU.”

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