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Esteemed sociologist and child and adolescent psychologist C. André Christie-Mizell has been named vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School at Vanderbilt University, effective Jan. 1, 2021, pending Board of Trust approval. The new vice provost role, which reflects the increased importance of graduate education at Vanderbilt, will enable direct connectivity with the academic deans and the Office of the Provost’s vice provost leadership team.
“Vanderbilt has a great opportunity to build upon our strengths in graduate education,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “As a globally renowned research institution, the Graduate School is central to our scholarly mission. I am delighted to welcome Professor Christie-Mizell into this new role as vice provost and dean.”
Christie-Mizell, a professor of sociology who currently serves as dean for undergraduate education in the College of Arts and Science, was chosen after a nationwide search by a broad-based, diverse committee chaired by Susan R. Wente, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. He succeeds Bunmi Olatunji, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Psychology, who was named interim dean of the Graduate School on Sept. 1, 2020, and is also the associate dean for academic affairs in the Graduate School.
“Professor Christie-Mizell is a rigorous scholar and accomplished administrator whose strategic thinking and enthusiasm will prove invaluable as we continue elevating the graduate education experience at Vanderbilt,” Wente said. “I’m deeply grateful to Dean Olatunji for his steady leadership during the interim period, and his continued efforts on behalf of our graduate students. His dedication ensured that the Graduate School remained on its current upward trajectory during this challenging semester.”
Wente said she also wanted to extend a special thank you to members of the search committee for their guidance. “The faculty and students on the search committee were dedicated and provided critical insights in filling this new vice provost role,” she added.
Christie-Mizell, who joined Vanderbilt’s Department of Sociology as a tenured associate professor in 2010, holds a Ph.D. in sociology and social psychology from Ohio State University and is a licensed family and child psychologist. His research focuses primarily on how family functioning, roles and identity shape the psychological well-being and health of everyone in the family unit. In addition to his teaching and research, he recently has co-led the Education Continuity Subcommittee as part of the University Continuity Working Group, which advises Vanderbilt leadership on how to continue operating safely and productively during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his new role as vice provost and dean, Christie-Mizell will serve as the chief administrator for all graduate programs within the university’s schools and colleges, and he will foster a collaborative support system across multiple departments, programs and central provost resources such as the Career Center, University Counseling Center and the Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness.
“I’m honored and thrilled to have this opportunity,” Christie-Mizell said. “There are many reasons why the best and brightest graduate students from around the world should consider coming to Vanderbilt, but chief among them is the supportive and collaborative environment that characterizes so much of the university’s success. It’s exciting to think about the possibilities as we continue growing and fostering this sense of community and enhancing the resources that allow these students to come together and thrive.”