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Academic affairs has new leader

December 1, 2015

IUPUI has appointed Margaret Ferguson as interim senior associate vice chancellor for academic affairs effective Jan. 1, IUPUI Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy E. Johnson announced.

Ferguson, who will serve in this position for up to two years while a national search is conducted for a permanent successor, will succeed Melissa Lavitt, who is stepping down Dec. 31 to assume the position of executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Washington Tacoma.

Margaret Ferguson

Ferguson currently serves as IU's assistant vice president for statewide academic relations. In this position, she has coordinated processes across the university for degree and program approvals and represented new degree programs and academic policies before the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. She has also assisted in procedures related to faculty promotion and tenure cases.

As senior associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, Ferguson will provide leadership and vision for the direction of faculty affairs and faculty life at IUPUI as well as provide significant leadership in shaping programs and events that develop faculty talent and leadership at all stages of career advancement, including promotion and tenure programs and processes, awards and funding opportunities, new faculty orientation, and faculty mentoring. In addition, she will coordinate IUPUI's involvement in online degree program development, a role that takes advantage of her expertise developed through previous work in support of IU Online.

"Margie Ferguson is a highly knowledgeable and skilled academic leader who will bring a wealth of relevant experience to this role," Johnson said. "Additionally, I'm delighted that this opportunity will bring her back to the IUPUI campus, where her deep commitment to academic excellence and integrity will enhance programs and initiatives aligned with faculty affairs." 

Ferguson first came to IUPUI in 1996 as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science within the School of Liberal Arts. She served as department chair from 2008 to 2012 and as acting associate dean for academic affairs in 2011, and she was promoted to professor in 2014. Her teaching interests within the field of American politics include state and local politics as well as executive and legislative politics.

"Higher education is more important today than ever before, and our faculty play such a key role in the advancement of education as well as driving discovery and community-engaged research in Indiana," Ferguson said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the campus in this new capacity, and I look forward to being part of the leadership team at IUPUI."

Ferguson earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Southern Mississippi and her master's and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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