Appointment of Dr. Andrew Comrie as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost


TO: UA Campus Community
FROM: Ann Weaver Hart, President
DATE: July 25, 2012
SUBJECT: Appointment of Dr. Andrew Comrie as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

I am pleased to announce that after much campus and constituency consultation along with input from Chair of the Faculty, Wanda Howell, I have selected Dr. Andrew Comrie, currently the associate vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College in our Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, to be the University of Arizona's senior vice president for academic affairs and provost effective August 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. Dr. Comrie’s appointment is scheduled to go before the Arizona Board of Regents at the September board meeting. He replaces Jacqueline Lee Mok, who has served as provost since August 1, 2011 and is now preparing for her new role at Johns Hopkins University as its vice president/chief of staff and secretary to the Board of Trustees. Dr. Comrie will also be acting in her stead from July 23, 2012 through July 31, 2012. 

As provost, Dr. Comrie will become the chief academic officer of the University, overseeing all academic programs and units exclusive of the health sciences and medical enterprise where academic programs come under the oversight of our senior vice president for health sciences. Dr. Comrie will return to the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research following his term as provost. He also holds a tenured appointment as professor in the School of Geography and Development.

Dr. Comrie is a climatologist with a primary appointment in the School of Geography and Development. He has several interdisciplinary appointments including Atmospheric Sciences and Public Health. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University, and he joined the University of Arizona in 1992. His research focuses on the connections between climate, disease vectors and pathogens. He has served as editorial board member and editor for several scientific journals.

Dr. Comrie, in his role as dean of the Graduate College, has provided academic leadership for graduate education at the University, including stewardship of 15 graduate interdisciplinary programs, which involve more than 600 faculty members from more than a dozen colleges. He has been a member of the faculty at the University of Arizona for 20 years. Prior to his appointment as dean in January 2006, he led the UA’s graduate program in geography for almost a decade. Dr. Comrie has served in national roles including the Council of Graduate Schools Board of Directors from 2008-2010, the AAU Association of Graduate Schools Executive Committee from 2010 to present and the Board of Directors of the Graduate Record Examination from 2010 to present.

As dean, Dr. Comrie’s accomplishments include raising the campus profile of the graduate enterprise, regularizing support for graduate interdisciplinary programs and increasing support for graduate student fellowships. He introduced competitive programs to increase private and public extramural graduate student support, and he has worked with colleagues to maintain and strengthen exemplary programs to increase student access to graduate education.

As associate vice president for research he has been active in technology transfer and entrepreneurship, research integrity and ethics and advancing strategic research agendas across multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Andrew Comrie in his new role!