Caroline Levander has been appointed vice president for digital education and strategic initiatives, effective July 1.
President David Leebron announced the new position in an email to faculty June 24.
Levander, who is currently vice provost for interdisciplinary initiatives and digital education, will work with the president to further many of the strategic academic priorities that he has outlined over the last year.
“Caroline’s most immediate responsibility will be guiding the process for the development of our digital initiatives and strategy internally, as well as having principal responsibility for managing our external relationships around digital education,” Leebron said. “In addition to furthering these strategic academic priorities, Caroline will lead a review of the various presidential initiative funds, such as the Faculty Initiative Fund and Arts Initiative Fund, as we seek to maximize the impact of those funds, assure strong faculty engagement and foster university and school-based priorities and the innovative spirit of the faculty through various seed grants.”
Leebron noted that this reorganization in the president’s and provost’s offices does not entail additional administrative personnel, but is intended to facilitate a smooth transition when Provost George McLendon steps down in the summer of 2015.
“It is vital we lose no ground during this time in defining and achieving our strategic aims,” Leebron said.
An alumna of the university, Levander joined the Rice faculty as an assistant professor of English in 2000, received tenure in 2001 and became a full professor in 2006. She has served as director of the Humanities Research Center and holds an endowed chair — the Carlson Chair in Humanities. In 2011 she was appointed to her current role as vice provost, in which she has overseen Rice’s digital education initiative, planning for the Moody Center for the Arts and other interdisciplinary efforts.
Levander is the author of numerous books, most recently “Hotel Life” (2015) and “Where Is American Literature?” (2013). She is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, National Humanities Center and National Endowment for the Humanities, among others. She will continue to teach and direct graduate students.