Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

STATUS: Benjamin C. Withers named Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education.  


Provost Riordan sent the following email to UK faculty and staff on Friday, Jan. 24:


Dear Colleagues,

I'm very pleased to announce that Benjamin C. Withers, who has led the Division of Undergraduate Education at the interim level, has agreed to serve as the permanent Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education. He officially assumes the position on February 1, 2014. I want to thank the search committee, led by Scott Kelley and consisting of the following members, for their assistance in this selection process:

  • Ruth Beattie, Department of Biology
  • Trisha Clement, Residence Life
  • Laurie Henry, Department of Education Curriculum and Instruction
  • Robert Houtz, Department of Horticulture
  • Scott Kelley, Department of Marketing and Supply Chain, (Chair)
  • Darlene Welsh, College of Nursing
  • Don Witt, Enrollment Management

Dr. Withers has played an essential role, both through his leadership in Undergraduate Education and as Director of the Honors Program, in promoting academic excellence. As you know, he brings tremendous passion and extraordinary skill in teaching. He also brings strong experience in establishing collaborative, functional solutions for enhancing student success, a key component of Dr. Capilouto's vision for our institution.

As Interim Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, Dr. Withers oversaw the reorganization of the Division of Undergraduate Education, creating the Academy for Undergraduate Excellence (including Undergraduate Research, Chellgren Center, Gaines Center and other units emphasizing academic innovation and challenge for our undergraduate students across the University). As a faculty leader throughout the University's general education reform efforts, Dr. Withers provided, and continues to provide, expertise in developing innovations for the UK Core Program-- a program that has received national accolades for its emphasis on creativity.

He also led the discussions and operationalization of the new graduation writing requirements for all UK undergraduate degrees, as well as the development of the University's undergraduate certificate programs, serving as the Dean for the University's first certificate program offering "Global Studies."  In directing the UK Honors Program, Dr. Withers oversaw the development and implementation of a new, improved curriculum, while the program broke records in terms of number of applicants and level of academic quality for the fall class of 2013.

Dr. Withers, a professor of Art History, served previously as chair of the UK Department of Art, now the School of Art and Visual Studies, and as assistant dean of the Raclin School of the Arts at Indiana University. He earned his bachelor's degree from Carleton College, and his master's degree and doctorate from the University of Chicago.

Please join me in congratulating Ben, as he continues to enhance the academic experience for the students we educate and serve.

All the best,