Tracy Langkilde Named Penn State Interim Executive Vice President And Provost

Tracy Langklide was appointed as Penn State’s interim executive vice president and provost, effective April 15.

The announcement comes after Justin Schwartz, former executive vice president and provost, was named as the sole finalist in the University of Colorado Boulder’s search for a new chancellor.

Langklide is Bendapudi’s third provost since taking over as president of Penn State. Schwartz was preceded by Nick Jones who retired in June 2022 to become a special assistant to Bendapudi.

“Tracy has been such a positive force for change in the Eberly College as a faculty member, department chair and as dean, earning the respect of her peers across the University, and working collaboratively with faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students,” Bendapudi said in a release. “I greatly look forward to her bringing that thoughtful leadership to our team.”

The former Verne M. Willaman Dean of the Eberly College of Science will oversee Penn State’s academic units, including all colleges and campuses in her new role as the university’s interim vice president. She also will serve as a member of the President’s Council, chair Penn State’s Council of Academic Deans and the Academic Leadership Council, and serve as an ex officio member of the University Faculty Senate.

Langkilde has served as dean of the Eberly College of Science since 2020, originally joining Penn State’s faculty as an assistant professor in the department of biology. She was named an associate professor in 2012 and a full professor in 2016, the same year she was named head of the department of biology. As dean of the Eberly College, she led a college of about 460 faculty, 250 staff, 130 postdocs, 1,200 graduate students, and 3,800 undergraduate majors, with a focus on diversity and inclusion and narrowing demographic gaps within the college.

She received her bachelor’s degree in tropical biology at James Cook University and her doctoral degree in biology at the University of Sydney. Langklide was also a Gaylord Donnelley postdoctoral fellow at Yale University.

“I’m grateful for this chance to lead this institution that means so much to so many, and I thank President Bendapudi for giving me this opportunity,” Langkilde said. “I have a deep respect for the shared governance that makes universities work, and I will be focused on listening to our community and collaborating with academic leaders to strengthen and advance Penn State. I’m also greatly looking forward to working with the excellent team in the provost’s office and the dedicated deans and chancellors across the commonwealth in enacting President Bendapudi’s vision to strengthen Penn State for the future. I am fortunate that we have an outstanding leader in the Eberly College of Science to assume the role of acting dean during this time.”

Mary Beth Williams, professor of chemistry and senior associate dean of science education in the Eberly College of Science, will assume the role of acting dean of the Eberly College of Science as a result of Langklide’s appointment. Williams has worked in the department of chemistry since 2001 as an assistant professor and was later named to the college’s leadership staff in 2009 where she oversaw undergraduate education, research and administration, and has chaired important university-level task forces, among others.

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About the Author

Luke Pieczynski

Luke is a junior accounting major hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, and is Onward State's social media manager. He can often be found in the Starbucks line waiting for a nitro cold brew, or listening to one of Dua Lipa's latest releases. He's a fiercely loyal Sheetz Freak and will not settle for another Pennsylvania gas station. Please send your best political thriller to him on Twitter @lukepie11 or to his email [email protected].

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