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Updated 2:30 PM July 7, 2005




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Weiss to lead Rackham Graduate School

Janet A. Weiss, associate provost for academic affairs, will become the next dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and vice provost for academic affairs-graduate studies. Her appointment, which will be effective Aug. 1 pending approval by the Board of Regents, was announced June 20 by President Mary Sue Coleman and Provost Paul N. Courant.
(Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services)

"The success of graduate education is essential to our future as a great university," Courant wrote in a memo to the faculty. "As dean, Prof. Weiss will work in partnership with deans of other schools and colleges to improve the quality of graduate education and to create conditions that allow graduate students to do their best work. As vice provost, she will advocate for policies, funding, and initiatives that support graduate and professional education.

"President Coleman and I could not be more pleased that Prof. Weiss, with her accomplishments as a teacher, scholar, and academic leader, is willing to tackle these challenges. We are confident she will build on the distinguished legacy of former deans John D'Arms, Nancy Cantor and Earl Lewis, and will bring her own distinction and energy to the important work that needs to be done."

Weiss, the Mary C. Bromage Collegiate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Public Policy, holds faculty appointments in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. She has been a member of the faculty since 1983.

As associate provost for academic affairs since May 2002, Weiss has been responsible for a broad range of academic and faculty issues, including faculty promotion and tenure, family friendly policies affecting faculty and students, facilities planning, strategic planning, and oversight of museums and libraries. She was associate dean of the Business School from1992-97, with responsibility for the doctoral program and research. Before that she served as associate director of the Institute of Public Policy Studies at Michigan (the forerunner to the Ford School of Public Policy). Prior to coming to U-M, she was on the faculty of the School of Organization and Management at Yale University.

"As dean, I plan to work with other deans in keeping a relentless focus on quality graduate education and on creating conditions that encourage graduate students to learn and thrive," Weiss says. "My personal commitments to high academic standards and a climate that promotes success for all will strengthen the University of Michigan's commitments to be a national leader in graduate and professional education."

Weiss' research is focused on public management and policy, including the roles of information and ideas in the policy process, the challenges of public management, and the interplay between policy design and the management of public programs. Her work on education policy led to her involvement in the early 1990s as an expert adviser to a group of major corporations in Michigan, and more recently as an adviser to the Education Commission of the States' Project on Governing America's Schools; a member of the National Working Commission on Choice in K-12 Education at the Brookings Institution; and a member of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Teaching and Learning. Her research on public and nonprofit management led to her engagement with several major foundations and consulting to non-profit and public sector clients at the federal and state levels.

Between 1998-2002, Weiss founded and directed the Nonprofit and Public Management Center at U-M, a collaborative effort of the schools of Business, Public Policy and Social Work. The center provides a focus for the rich set of volunteer, internship, project and extracurricular opportunities available to professional degree students, and stimulates research and inquiry in nonprofit and public management among faculty and doctoral students. Her engagement with several U-M schools and colleges has included serving on the executive committees of the Ross School of Business, the Ford School of Public Policy, the Institute for Social Research, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and the Rackham Graduate School.

Weiss received a doctorate from Harvard University in psychology and social relations and a bachelor of arts from Yale University, where she was in the first class of women.

In his memo, Courant thanked Prof. Francis X. Blouin, Jr., director of the Bentley Historical Library, for his work as chair of the Search Advisory Committee, and members of the committee for their outstanding service. He also recognized Prof. Steven L. Kunkel for "his fine service as interim dean" of Rackham during the past year.

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