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Lindsay Chase-Lansdale stepping down as inaugural vice provost for academics

Will return full-time to the SESP faculty after seven years in the Office of the Provost

Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, vice provost for academics, will step down from the Office of the Provost on August 31 to return full time to the faculty in the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP), where she is the Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy. She also will continue as a faculty fellow in the Institute for Policy Research (IPR). 

Lindsay Chase-Lansdale
Lindsay Chase-Lansdale

She began her tenure in the Office of the Provost in 2013 with the charge of redefining the role of associate provost for faculty in order to promote even greater faculty excellence. Over the course of her seven-year tenure in the office, she has made significant contributions to the University, particularly in the area of faculty diversity and inclusion, multidisciplinary research initiatives, as well as faculty wellness, leadership development and shared governance. 

As associate provost, she formed and led a Faculty Diversity and Excellence group, helped develop and enhance resources available for faculty searches, and launched the Provost’s Advisory Council on Women Faculty, which has resulted in the development of faculty mentoring, recruitment and retention initiatives in addition to an examination and revision of faculty-facing policies to enhance equity.

Chase-Lansdale also initiated the establishment of the Provost’s Awards for Faculty Excellence in Diversity and Equityand the Provost Grants for Innovation in Diversity and Equity (later named after former provost, Daniel I. Linzer). In addition, she fostered the expansion of the then-Feinberg School of Medicine faculty wellness program to become University-wide and available to all faculty.

In December 2017, she was appointed to the inaugural role of vice provost for academics by then-Provost Jonathan Holloway. In that position, which she held concurrently with the role of associate provost for faculty during the 2018-19 academic year and again in recent months, she continued her faculty-facing work while also helping to build bridges across additional key areas within the Office of the Provost, including undergraduate and graduate education, as well as strategy and policy.

During her years in the Office of the Provost, Chase-Lansdale said she made it a top goal to listen, to foster communication and trust between faculty and the Office of the Provost, and to be results-oriented. 

Chase-Lansdale also stewarded a number of faculty scholarly initiatives, two of which resulted in the establishment of multidisciplinary, pioneering institutes: the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH) and the Institute for Innovation in Developmental Sciences: Healthier, Earlier (DevSci).

In addition to the Provost’s Advisory Council on Women Faculty, she was actively engaged in strengthening work-life policies, coordinating campus outreach and civic engagement efforts, conducting the first salary equity study, and participating in thought leadership for new campus initiatives such as the Ombuds Task Force. She co-chaired the planning committee for the 2019-20 commemorations of 150 Years of Women at Northwestern, and she led Northwestern’s decision to be a founding member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Action Collaborative to Prevent Sexual Harassment in Higher Education.

“It has been inspiring to be part of new relationships that show significant trust and communication,” Chase-Lansdale said. “I have found my seven years in the Office of the Provost to be very meaningful, challenging and rewarding.”

Interim Provost Kathleen Hagerty said Chase-Lansdale’s many contributions have improved the Office of the Provost. 

“The projects and initiatives she has led throughout her tenure have been integral to our work,” Hagerty said. “Most recently, I am especially grateful that she once again stepped up by taking on additional responsibilities during the pandemic.”

A specialist in multidisciplinary research on societal issues that affect families and the development of children and youth — especially those who are economically disadvantaged, Chase-Lansdale has continued to pursue an active research agenda, even while serving in the Provost’s Office. As a faculty fellow at the IPR, she was founding director for seven years of its Cells to Society (C2S): the Center on Social Disparities and Health. An internationally recognized scholar, she is currently an elected member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers and a member of its executive committee, an elected member of the National Academy of Education, and a fellow in the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science

In recent years, Chase-Lansdale received a grant from the Foundation for Child Development to mentor scholars of color at all levels (undergraduate, predoctoral and postdoctoral students). She also received the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) Social Policy Award as well as the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy for Children. 

When she returns to the faculty this fall, she will continue to advance her research on two-generation education programs for low-income families. These programs simultaneously combine education and workforce training for parents with Head Start for their children, and Chase-Lansdale and her research team’s findings have demonstated the promise that such programs may open up more life opportunities for families facing economic hardship.