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Sarah Mangelsdorf named provost of the University of Wisconsin

Dean will say farewell to “great team” at Weinberg College

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Dean Sarah C. Mangelsdorf announced Thursday (April 10) that she will leave Northwestern University this August to become provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The new post for Mangelsdorf, who is also a professor in Weinberg’s department of psychology, comes six years after she came to Northwestern from her earlier role as the Henry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In a note she sent Thursday to colleagues, Mangelsdorf observed, “It is with mixed emotions that I am writing to let you know that as of August, I will be leaving Northwestern to become provost at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Although I am excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for me, I am also deeply saddened to be leaving Northwestern, and particularly Weinberg College,” she added. “It has been a great pleasure to work with all of you over the course of the last six years. I am very thankful for everything that all of you do to make Weinberg College the best place it can be, and I know that you will continue that great work in the years to come.”

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced the appointment in Madison and noted that Mangelsdorf, an internationally known scholar who studies the socio-emotional development of infants and young children, is both “a top-ranked professor and a first-class administrator (who) has experienced success at four Big Ten institutions, both public and private.”

Northwestern University Provost Dan Linzer thanked Mangelsdorf for her many years of service to Northwestern and noted he looks forward to continuing to see her and work with her in her new role at Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) events and other meetings in the future.

“Sarah brought to Northwestern an outstanding record of successful scholarship and academic leadership,” Linzer said. “We benefitted greatly from her strong passion for the liberal arts and sciences and her deep devotion to both education and research. We will miss her, and I am sure she will bring those same qualities to bear in her new post at UW-Madison.”

Before joining Northwestern, Mangelsdorf served from 2004 to 2008 as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Illinois, the first woman to hold that position. She joined the University of Illinois psychology department in 1991 and served as associate provost from 2001 to 2003 and head of the department of psychology from 2003 to 2004. She previously served four years as an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.

Mangelsdorf's scholarship focuses on social and emotional development in infancy and early childhood, and she is the author of numerous articles in developmental psychology. She has served on the editorial boards of five academic journals and is a fellow in the American Psychological Association. She is also chair of the CIC Arts & Sciences Deans Group and a trustee of the Erikson Institute in Chicago.

Mangelsdorf earned her bachelor's degree in psychology in 1980 from Oberlin College in Ohio and her doctorate in 1988 in child psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Mangelsdorf’s husband, Karl Rosengren, also a developmental psychologist in Northwestern’s department of psychology, will join the UW-Madison department of psychology.

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