Provost Announcement from the Office of the President

Dear USC Community,

It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Charles F. Zukoski as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, effective October 1, 2019. He will hold the Shelly and Ofer Nemirovsky Provost’s Chair.

An internationally recognized scholar in chemical engineering and an accomplished university leader, Dr. Zukoski currently serves as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Before joining UB in 2012, Dr. Zukoski had a distinguished career at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he rose from an assistant professor in 1985 to vice chancellor for research. He earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton University and his bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College.

Dr. Zukoski brings to USC extensive experience overseeing professional schools, the arts and humanities, and the health and medical sciences. Under his leadership, UB transformed its undergraduate general education program, increased international and experiential learning opportunities, and significantly improved graduation rates. The student body also became more diverse and inclusive. He also focused on enhancing the faculty’s research productivity and impact, and on building meaningful interdisciplinary collaborations and innovative programs.

Among his many professional experiences, Dr. Zukoski also has strong international experience particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. He chaired the Science and Engineering Council in Singapore for the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research for six years. And, he has numerous honors, including being a member of the National Academy of Engineering since 2007. He was named one of the 100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Dr. Zukoski’s research investigates suspension mechanics, protein crystallization, and nanoparticle self-assembly. He has published nearly 150 peer reviewed papers, and directed more than 50 masters and Ph.D. theses.

In Dr. Zukoski, we have found an active partner to help advance the university by building on our breadth and depth and seeking new opportunities for impact and leadership. He is knowledgeable about all aspects of the university and cares deeply about the welfare and needs of the faculty, staff, and students and the communities we serve. He will oversee the university’s 23 professional schools and units as our chief academic officer, and will manage the divisions dedicated to academic and faculty affairs, student affairs, admission and enrollment services, research, campus well-being, global initiatives, libraries, and museums. Those who have worked with Dr. Zukoski always mention his warmth, his sense of humor and collegiality, and his integrity.

I would like to thank Dr. Elizabeth Graddy, who has served as interim provost since July 1. She brought a steady voice and insightful thinking to the position, and has been a trusted advisor to me since my arrival in July. Following Dr. Zukoski’s arrival, Dr. Graddy will return to her role as executive vice provost and help lead his transition.

I am also very grateful to the search committee, chaired by University Professor Mark Humayun. This search moved swiftly and smoothly, thanks to the excellent work of the 17-member committee with representation from across the university, and including faculty, staff, students, and the Chair of the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs committee. More than 300 names were evaluated for this position, including more than 75 that came as nominations from within our community. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Zukoski (‘Chip’) and his wife Barbara Morgan to our community and to the Trojan Family.


Carol L. Folt