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University hires Thomas Katsouleas as incoming executive vice president and provost

Katsouleas to serve beginning Aug. 17; vacancy filled by senior vice provost in interim


Thomas C. Katsouleas will serve as the University’s executive vice president and provost starting Aug. 17, University President Teresa Sullivan announced Wednesday. 

Katsouleas is currently the head of Duke University’s school of engineering. Katsouleas will be filling the position vacated by John D. Simon, who will become president of Lehigh University starting July 1. University Senior Vice Provost Milton Adams will serve as executive vice president and provost during the vacancy.

Katsouleas will also serve as the Robert C. Taylor professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Engineering School and receive a courtesy appointment as professor of physics in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

As University executive vice president and provost, Katsouleas will be charged with advancing the Cornerstone Plan — the University’s five-year strategic plan. Katsouleas will also oversee the University’s 11 schools, as well as its libraries, residential colleges, foreign study and international exchange programs, as well as other University programs and facilities.

Ian Baucom, dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, chaired the search committee to fill the position. 

Sullivan said Katsouleas’ appointment comes at a key moment in the University's history.

“Tom arrives at U.Va. during a momentous time as we approach our third century, one where he will help shape the intellectual future of the University with the hiring of the next generation of top faculty from across the globe,” she said in a press release.

As executive vice president and provost, Katsouleas will be responsible for educating faculty members about their position and duties relative to the University’s Honor System. He will also work with the president, deans and senior vice president for advancement on matters involving philanthropic support for the University.

“Tom’s energy and passion for learning and innovation, and his demonstrated success as an administrator and scholar, make him the ideal candidate to oversee the academic enterprise of this great institution,” Sullivan said. “He brings a global perspective and keen understanding of the academy and higher education administration.”

Katsouleas served as the dean of Duke’s engineering school for the past seven years, after spending 14 years at the University of Southern California’s School of Engineering, where he began as an associate professor of electrical engineering-electrophysics. 

Katsouleas came to USC from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he served as an associate research engineer and adjunct associate professor of physics. Katsouleas received his B.S. and Ph.D. — both in physics — from UCLA.

Katsouleas has authored more than 250 publications and won numerous awards, including the Outstanding Teaching Award in the UCLA Physics Department, given in 1990 and 1991; fellowship with the American Physical Society; fellowship with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; and the Plasma Science Achievement Award, presented by the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Society in 2011.

“I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with President Sullivan, her team and the faculty, staff and students, as well as U.Va.’s extremely committed alumni and its board, to realize the shared ambition to be the model for the best in public higher education,” Katsouleas said in a press release.

Katie Grimesey contributed to the reporting of this article.