The position for the Vice Provost of Faculty is a new addition to the Office of the Provost at the Institute and is intended to highlight the requests and interests of almost 4,000 faculty that serve the Institute in various capacities. Currently, Dr. Bonnie Ferri serves as the Vice Provost of Graduate Education and Faculty Development, which is a similar office that advocates for the needs of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty.
However, with the creation of the new position specifically pertaining to faculty members, Tech will be able to prioritize the optimization of the faculty experience on campus, both during the recruitment and advancement process in order to maximize faculty retention through a framework of diversity, equity,
Dr. Michele Rinehart, the former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Outreach for the College of Design has been appointed to the newfound position. With almost two decades of experience in education administration, Dr. Rinehart’s tenure at Tech has been marked with landmark initiatives and projects aimed at bettering the Institute’s policies. In 2013, Dr. Rinhehart joined Tech’s faculty in her capacity as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and Outreach, before transitioning into the associate dean position in 2015. She also had a brief tenure as Interim Dean for the College of Design in 2021 during the search process for permanent College of Design Dean, Dr. Ellen Bassett. Prior to her appointment at the Institute, Dr. Rinehart was part of the faculty at The Catholic University as the Assistant Dean of the School of Architecture and served as an academic advisor to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in architecture. Around Washington D.C., she was the Director of Public Programs at the National Building Museum and a senior project manager for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, along with being an adjunct instructor and program coordinator at Tulane University in New Orleans. As a leader and innovator in her field, Dr. Rinehart has accumulated a plethora of accolades for her work. During her master’s program at the University of Michigan, Dr. Rinehart was given the Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award and the Horace H. Rackham Merit Award; in D.C., she was awarded Faculty of the Year by the American Institute of Architecture Students.
While being a part of Tech faculty, she was awarded the College of Design Dean’s Award and the Thank a Teacher Award.
Dr. Rinehart’s impact on campus is tangible; in order to mitigate adverse effects of the global pandemic on faculty members, she prioritized collaborating with committees and task forces pertaining to COVID-19 as a co-chair for the Academic Space Reallocation Committee and the Fall 2021 Planning Work Group. Dr. Rinehart’s work in the Academic Restart Committee focuses on outlining solutions for combating challenges posed by the pandemic on academic education quality at the Institute. Some organizations Dr. Rinehart supports Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society and the American Institute of Architecture Students as a faculty advisor. She also champions the Institute’s commitment to progress and service through her involvement in the ABLE Alliance in order to create a more accessible campus and education system for students with disabilities.
When asked about her goals for the organization, Dr. Rinehart said, “My goal is that the new Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty will provide an inclusive and supportive experience for Tech faculty so they can continue to excel, from working with students in the classroom to engaging in innovative research and creative work. This begins with helping to recruit world-class faculty who are committed to our teaching and research mission, but also in our commitment to serve our local and global community. One role of the Office will be to provide faculty with the skills they need to continue to hone their craft as educators and researchers. We will work to create an environment for our faculty from recruitment to retirement that supports and rewards them for the excellent work they do here at Tech.”
The new position works in tandem with the Institute’s new strategic plan through improvement of tenure and promotion pathways.
By creating more departments targeted to improve different aspects of the Institute within the Office of the Provost, Tech administration hopes to create a positive work environment that rewards technical faculty for their contributions to the campus community.