Richard McCarty, a distinguished psychologist who has served as Vanderbilt University’s chief academic officer since 2008, will step down as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs next year, he announced today.
“Richard has led the academic initiatives of the university with integrity, commitment and purpose,” Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said. “Our mission of education and research has flourished under his leadership. He is a distinguished scholar, a respected member of the Vanderbilt community and entirely dedicated to providing our students the best educational experience in the country. He has been a true partner to me, and I will miss his wise counsel.”
As provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, McCarty has responsibility for academic programs in the Blair School of Music, the College of Arts and Science, the Divinity School, the School of Engineering, the Graduate School, the Law School, the Owen Graduate School of Management and Peabody College of education and human development. He also oversees residential and student life, admissions and financial aid, and research.
During his tenure, McCarty has recruited top faculty to Vanderbilt, including three new deans over the past two years. Undergraduate and graduate applications have grown at record rates, and student diversity has increased. He has played significant leadership roles in Vanderbilt’s financial aid and digital learning initiatives and has overseen the development of the university’s residential learning program.
McCarty came to Vanderbilt in 2001 as dean of the College of Arts and Science, a position he held for seven years before being named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in zoology from Old Dominion University before earning a Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University. He is an authority on the physiological and behavioral aspects of stress. A native of Portsmouth, Va., McCarty spent two years as a research associate in pharmacology with the National Institute of Mental Health before joining the University of Virginia in 1978 as an assistant professor of psychology, rising to department chair before taking a leave of absence to join the American Psychological Association as executive director for science.
McCarty will step down from his position in June and will rejoin the faculty after a yearlong leave. A national search is planned to find his successor.