Laura Carlson, vice president, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Notre Dame, has been named the 12th provost at the University of Delaware, effective June 8.
“It has been a pleasure to work closely with Laura as she has served the University,” said Christine Maziar, interim provost. “She is a highly respected educator and researcher, and she has done an outstanding job leading the Notre Dame Graduate School. Her contributions through the height of the pandemic had a significant impact on the continued success of our graduate programs and the emotional health and well-being of our campus community. We are tremendously proud of all that she has accomplished at Notre Dame and excited for the new opportunities that await her at the University of Delaware.”
“Laura is a cherished colleague whose service to Notre Dame has been exemplary,” said University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “She leaves with our esteem and gratitude, and we wish her the very best at the University of Delaware.”
A professor of psychology, Carlson was appointed head administrator of Notre Dame’s Graduate School in 2013. As dean, she led the establishment of the Office of Grants and Fellowships, which assists graduate students in securing $4 million to $6 million annually in nationally competitive awards to support their scholarly endeavors. She also partnered with the Division of Student Affairs to launch the offices of Graduate Career Services and Graduate Student Life to strengthen graduate students’ academic experience and holistic development.
In addition, Carlson played a key role in increasing the Graduate School’s diversity pipeline and cultural competencies through training for students, faculty and staff; fellowships and exchange programs for underrepresented scholars; and the Summer Research Opportunities Program for first-generation, low-resource and underrepresented undergraduates.
Within the Provost’s Office, Carlson has been instrumental in providing development opportunities for faculty to enhance their classroom effectiveness, career progression and leadership skills — including the ND LEAD program, which has prepared nearly 100 faculty members for future administrative roles in their departments and across the University. Carlson also helped establish Notre Dame’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs in 2017 to support military-connected students at the University.
“Notre Dame has transformed me — as a scholar, as a teacher, as a leader, as a person. I am forever indebted to the countless colleagues who have offered counsel, support and friendship over the years. I will leave a piece of my heart at Notre Dame and, in its space, will carry a piece of it with me forevermore,” Carlson said. “While this departure means distance from one family, the spirit and welcome that I have experienced at Delaware make me confident that (my husband) Rob and I are joining another family. There is exciting and innovative work to do at Delaware, and I am eager to join President (Dennis) Assanis, his leadership team and the deans, the faculty, the students and staff as well as the broader Delaware community to advance institutional strategic initiatives that prioritize academic excellence, access and equity.”
Prior to her appointment as vice president, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School, Carlson served as associate dean of professional development at the Graduate School, associate chair of the Department of Psychology and director of graduate studies for the Department of Psychology.
Carlson joined Notre Dame in 1994 as an assistant professor of psychology after earning her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.
Established in 1918, the Notre Dame Graduate School has four divisions — engineering, humanities, science and social sciences — as well as programs in the Keough School of Global Affairs, totaling more than 30 departments and programs that offer master’s or doctoral degrees. There are over 2,500 graduate students, from all 50 states and more than 100 nations, and more than 200 postdoctoral fellows at Notre Dame.
Maziar will announce an interim dean of the Graduate School in the near future, following consultation with Father Jenkins and John McGreevy, the newly elected Charles and Jill Fischer Provost of the University, whose appointment is effective July 1. The subsequent search for a new dean will follow the process outlined in the University’s Academic Articles.