SRU names Ursula Payne interim associate provost


Payne at an event

Ursula Payne has been appointed interim associate provost, effective July 18 and extending through the 2022-23 academic year.

June 23, 2022

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University today announced that Ursula Payne will serve as interim associate provost for the 2022-23 academic year. Payne, who is currently a professor of dance, will begin her new administrative role July 18.

As interim associate provost, Payne's responsibilities will include academic planning and overseeing assessment, accreditation and grants activities.

"Professor Payne has served the University in a variety of ways and we're grateful and excited to have her contribute in this new capacity," said Michael Zieg, interim provost. "She brings tremendous leadership skills and institutional knowledge to this role. We are eager for her to share her ideas and perspectives from her time as a faculty member to fulfill SRU's academic mission."



"This is a great opportunity for a faculty member like myself to use my experiences and leadership knowledge to benefit the institution," Payne said. "Having managers with multiple perspectives, especially those who have been faculty members, strengthens our learning environment and helps with decision making, teamwork, and the overall advancement of the institution."

Payne will report to Zieg, a former SRU faculty member who served in multiple administrative roles at the University before being named interim provost May 19.

Payne has served on the SRU faculty since 1996 and served as chair of the Dance Department from 2011-20. Among her other administrative and professional leadership roles at the University, Payne has served as the director of the Frederick Douglass Institute since 2017 and the diversity liaison officer to Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education in 2021.

During her time as chair of SRU's Dance Department, she helped raise the profile of its dance programs with national recognition and develop curriculum, including the Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance program that started in 2016.

"Having an artist's background will bring another perspective in terms of creative ways of thinking and looking at data and policies," Payne said. "Also, my role as the diversity liaison officer gave me the opportunity to think more broadly about the impact of DEI and how SRU fits into the larger network of the State System, and that experience has prepared me for this role in the Provost's Office."

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