University of New Mexico Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Chaouki Abdallah announced the appointment of Richard Wood, Pamela Cheek and Alex Lubin as his academic leadership team. All three have been serving in interim capacities for the past year.
Wood continues in his role as senior vice provost, Cheek as associate provost for Curriculum and Assessment, and Lubin as associate provost for Faculty Development. The appointments are effective immediately.
“After more than a year of interim leadership in the Provost’s Office, it was important to conduct a search for the individuals who would serve in key positions on a regular basis,” said Abdallah. “The internal search was comprehensive and I am pleased that many talented administrators were interested. Wood, Cheek and Lubin have the support of the search committee and bring experience, passion and vision to their roles. This is particularly important as we face institutional accreditation in 2019.”
Wood served as the interim senior vice provost for the academic mission in 2017-18. He is a professor of sociology and served previously at UNM as president of the Faculty Senate, co-chair of the Committee on Governance, chairperson of the Department of Sociology, director of the Religious Studies Program, special advisor for strategic initiatives in the Office of the Provost, and in various other committee roles at the college and university level. He has helped lead major nationally-funded research projects on religion and democracy in the United States, Central America and the Middle East. He has served on a variety of community service boards at the local and national levels.
Wood holds a Ph.D. in sociology from UC-Berkeley, an M.A. degree in theology from the Graduate Theological Union, and a B.A. in chemistry from UC-Davis. Wood was raised in northern New Mexico and is an avid skier, flyfisher, and hiker; on a good day he can also shoot a basketball. Wood and his spouse Dana Bell raised their two now-adult children in Albuquerque.
Cheek came to UNM in 1996, drawn here by the beauty of New Mexico and by the opportunity to teach students who bring rich cultural experiences to the classroom. After receiving an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard, she was awarded a Mellon Fellowship in support of her doctoral work in comparative literature at Stanford University.
Cheek is currently an associate professor of French in the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures where she has taught courses ranging from beginning French to graduate literary and cultural theory.
Cheek most recently served as interim associate provost for curriculum and assessment. She has focused on building a support-oriented Office of Assessment and Academic Program Review, developing a faculty fellows program for integrating high engagement practices into general education and preparing for Higher Learning Commission accreditation. She also previously worked on a range of initiatives at UNM, from serving as a member of the Committee on Governance and as chair of her department to leading a Faculty Senate task force on general education and co-chairing the first Bilinski Fellowship Committee. When she’s not busy with research or preparing to teach, Cheek steals away to explore the mountains and rivers of the Southwest with her family and friends.
Lubin served as interim associate provost for faculty development during AY 2017-18. During this year he launched a campus-wide conversation about the Zimmerman Library’s “Three People’s” mural, redesigned the academic leadership school for new department chairs, and supervised the university-wide promotion and tenure review process. Lubin collaborated with UNM Advance and with the Division of Equity and Inclusion to center “inclusive excellence” as the guiding value for faculty development. He is currently chairing a task force as part of the university’s redesign effort that is focused on ways to link areas of interdisciplinary strength across UNM colleges and departments.
Lubin earned a B.A. in Humanities at the Evergreen State College, an M.A. in American Studies at University of Massachusetts-Boston, and a Ph.D. in American Studies at University of Minnesota. He began his career at UNM in 2002 as an assistant professor in the Department of American Studies.
Lubin is currently a full professor of American Studies and has served as department chair for six years. From 2011-2014, Lubin took a leave from UNM while he served as director of the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Beirut, Lebanon. While at AUB, Lubin designed and launched the region’s first M.A. program in Transnational American Studies.
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