U.Va. names new provost and chief operating officer

President Ryan announced the new senior leadership appointments in an email to the University community

MagillDavis 2

M. Elizabeth “Liz” Magill (left) will serve as executive vice president and provost, and Jennifer “J.J.” Wagner Davis (right) will be executive vice president and chief operating officer.  They will be the first women to hold these positions at U.Va. 

Courtesy University of Virginia

University President Jim Ryan announced the appointments of three new senior leadership positions within his administration Friday afternoon, naming a new provost, chief operating officer and dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. 

On Friday, the Board of Visitors approved the appointments of Liz Magill as provost, J.J. Wagner Davis as chief operating officer and Alex Hernandez as dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Magill and Davis will be the first women to serve in the roles of  provost and chief operating officer at U.Va. 

“I have been incredibly impressed by each of these leaders, and have no doubt that they will help UVA meet its challenges and continue its mission to serve the Commonwealth and beyond,” Ryan wrote in an email to the University community.

Ryan, who began his tenure as president Wednesday, announced in March the creation of search committees for a new provost and chief operating officer while also conducting a search for a dean to lead the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Magill will replace Thomas Katsouleas as provost, who intended to leave the position at the end of the 2017-18 academic year but remained in his role during the search process. Magill previously served as dean and a professor at Stanford Law School for the past six years. Prior to her position at Stanford, Magill was a professor and vice dean at the U.Va. School of Law for 15 years.

Davis will replace Patrick Hogan, whose June retirement was also announced in March. Davis was senior vice president for finance and administration at George Mason University and, according to the email, has also “held leadership positions at the University of Delaware and helped manage the state’s budget.”

Hernandez will step in for Steve Laymon as dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Since 2010, Hernandez has been a partner at the Charter School Growth Fund — a nonprofit venture capital fund that promotes the growth of public charter schools — and has been an area superintendent for a charter school network in the California Central Valley as well as a high school math teacher in South Los Angeles.

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