Announcing our Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 10 a.m.
KU Lawrence Faculty, Staff and Affiliates

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I greatly appreciate all who applied for the position of Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. We had a strong pool of candidates with a wide variety of expertise, talents and experiences — all of which would contribute in important and meaningful ways to the responsibilities of the position. I especially thank both Ani Kokobobo and Ric Steele for their interest and willingness to serve in the role, and I look forward to working with both Ani and Ric as leaders of many initiatives, current and future, that are critical to our university.

I am pleased to announce that Amy Mendenhall has been named Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, effective June 25, 2023.

Amy was selected following a robust internal search, which included formal interviews, small group meetings with faculty and staff, and a public presentation. Feedback received during the search process identified numerous strengths in Amy’s record, including:

  • broad previous experience working on matters of faculty support, faculty development, research administration, and with critical faculty governance processes such as promotion and tenure;
  • leadership in advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging through administration, research and service;
  • core strengths in administration, such as strategic thinking, organizational skills, commitment to faculty mentoring and support;
  • a vision and understanding of the opportunities and complexities of the three key responsibilities of the office (faculty development and faculty mentoring; policy creation, monitoring and compliance; and faculty care throughout the faculty career cycle);
  • demonstrated respect for and appreciation of others, and demonstrated success in using a collaborative approach that builds connections across units and levels to shepherd positive change;
  • a record of excellence as a faculty member in teaching, research and service.

Amy has been a professor in the School of Social Welfare since 2020, having joined KU as an assistant professor in 2009. She serves as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, and is Director of the Center for Community Engagement & Collaboration. Amy’s scholarship focuses on developing and evaluating effective services, in partnership with community organizations, to meet the needs of children and families to ultimately improve their well-being, and she has been recognized with a number of faculty awards.

The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs works at the intersection between university administration and faculty. It is a position that calls for a leader who can vigorously advocate for faculty and voice faculty concerns to leadership, while at the same time ensuring our university is aligned with best practices, policies and administrative processes.

The process of this search revealed that, as a university community, we lack a consistent and shared understanding of the mission and role of the Office of Faculty Affairs at KU. I look forward to working with Amy to communicate a mission and vision for the office that closely aligns with tenure/tenure-track and career/specialty faculty needs through all career stages, and to moving quickly to address many of the recommendations from the COACHE survey report. Amy’s previous record demonstrates that she will seek diverse and thoughtful input from colleagues across campus to ensure Faculty Affairs is best serving both faculty and the university.

I extend my deep and sincere thanks to Ann Brill and Nate Brunsell, search co-chairs, and to the search committee members for their outstanding work. I also appreciate each of you who took time to engage with the search process and provide feedback.



Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor