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Provost Gail Hackett accepts position Virginia Commonwealth University

UMKC executive vice chancellor and provost Gail Hackett, Ph.D. has accepted an appointment to serve as provost at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Hackett has been a chief academic officer at UMKC since 2008.

 “Gail Hackett’s tenure as UMKC’s chief academic officer has been marked by a commitment to excellence,” UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton said. “Under her academic leadership, our enrollment and stature have grown. We have attracted top researchers and thought leaders to our faculty, and provided the next generation of Kansas City’s leaders with an exceptional education. She leaves with our best wishes and our profound thanks.”

Hackett will begin at VCU on Mar. 1. Cindy Pemberton, UMKC’s deputy provost for academic affairs, will serve as interim provost until a new candidate is selected. UMKC will begin the search for a new provost after hiring a professional academic search consultant and forming a search committee.

UMKC vice chancellor Mel Tyler praised Hackett’s commitment to student success.

“Dr. Hackett believes in two great ideals: high academic standards, and the responsibility of a public University to do everything possible to help young people achieve those standards,” Tyler said. “She walked that walk every day.”

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Hackett will earn a $325,000 annual salary with an opportunity to earn an annual performance bonus of $25,000 according to specifications created by VCU’s president Michael Rao. VCU’s enrollment is approximately 32,000 students, which is roughly twice the size of UMKC.

When Hackett’s appointment was announced, Rao released a statement praising her for her “innovative approaches to achieving strategic goals and managing change at evolving institutions.”

During her tenure, Hackett started several academic initiatives including the creation of the Atterbury Student Success Center, a new general education core curriculum and the founding of University College, which was created for freshman who declare their major is undecided.

According to VCU, UMKC significantly increased quality programs and course offerings through online and distance learning under her leadership.

Hackett’s tenure at UMKC was preceded by her position as vice provost and founding dean of the University College at Arizona State University in Tempe. Hackett also held faculty positions at Ohio State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned her doctorate in Counseling Psychology at Pennsylvania State University, and is also a member of the International Advisory Board for the American University of Vietnam and the Advisory Board for the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City. She is one of the most frequently cited researchers in the field of counseling psychology, in which she has over 3,500 academic journal citations.

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