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Karen Weddle-West Named Interim Provost at the University of Memphis

Contact: Gabrielle Maxey

Sheri Lipman May 8, 2014 - Karen Weddle-West has been named interim provost at the University of Memphis, replacing M. David Rudd, who will assume the presidency of the University on May 16.

“I am pleased to announce that Dr. Weddle-West has agreed to serve in this important role overseeing the academic affairs of the University,” said Rudd.  “Throughout her career, she has demonstrated that she puts students and their needs first in everything she does. She is innovative and inclusive in how she approaches solutions. Her depth and breadth of knowledge, expertise and understanding of our academic programs across campus is unparalleled.”

Weddle-West was appointed the University’s director of Diversity Initiatives in 2012, and has also served as vice provost for Graduate Programs since 2003. As diversity director, she has been the conduit for programs, services, funds and resources designed to promote, sustain and enhance campus diversity in higher education.  As vice provost for Graduate Programs/dean of the Graduate School, she has overseen all programs and initiatives of the Graduate School.  Notable accomplishments during her tenure include facilitating the launch of more than 60 new graduate programs and chairing or serving on more than 100 dissertation committees. 

Weddle-West has garnered a distinguished record of scholarship nationally and internationally in invited presentations, publications, and professional service focused on graduate education, graduate student research and diversity.  She currently serves as chair of the national Council of Graduate Schools’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and she received the prestigious CGS/ Peterson’s Award for Innovation in Promoting an Inclusive Graduate Community from the CGS in 2006. She was invited to speak at the Library of Congress on Broadening Participation in Graduate Education during the 2009 CGS Legislative Forum.  

She is chair-elect of the Graduate Record Examination Board, a member of its research committee and chair of its finance committee. She has also served on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Board.  She was elected president of the Tennessee Council of Graduate Schools in 2006 and led the initiative for the governor’s proclamation of Graduate Education Week in Tennessee. 

Weddle-West was awarded the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1977 and 1982 respectively from The University of Tennessee.  She served as a college professor at Tennessee State University from 1981-86 and The Ohio State University from 1986-89.  In 2003, she was selected as Vice Provost for Graduate Programs at the University of Memphis following a successful tenure as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Education and a tenured Associate professor in Educational Psychology and Research where she won numerous honors and awards for excellence in teaching, research and service. 

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