Lincoln, Neb. – University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken has named Dr. Linda R. Pratt as executive vice president and provost for the University. Pratt has served as interim executive vice president and provost since July of 2006, and will officially take on the permanent appointment on Friday, subject to the approval of the Board of Regents.
“Linda Pratt has exceptional qualifications that make her ideally suited for this position, a key role of senior leadership at the University,” Milliken said. “She is respected and valued by faculty, students and administrators. In addition to her national leadership in higher education, she brings invaluable campus experience and an important perspective to the President’s Office. She is committed to the mission of the University and serves with personal integrity. And I have been most impressed with her ability to appreciate and articulate the challenges facing higher education today. I am delighted she has agreed to join our staff.”
The executive vice president and provost is the University’s ranking academic and administrative officer after the president, and serves as dean of the University-wide Graduate College and as the presiding officer of the graduate faculty and the Executive Graduate Council. Pratt is the first woman to serve in this position at the University of Nebraska.
Harold M. Maurer, M.D., Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said he is very impressed by Linda’s performance as interim provost. “She has shown exceptional judgment and good common sense. She has engendered trust with her colleagues throughout the University, and I am confident she will provide excellent leadership in this role.”
Harvey Perlman, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, noted Pratt has done an excellent job providing academic leadership. “Linda has a good understanding of the scope of programs at the University. As interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, she quickly achieved the confidence of the variety of departments in that College. As national president of the American Association of University Professors, she also has demonstrated a deep understanding of the issues facing higher education. I am confident the University could not have found a better person for this position.”
Pratt is a professor of English and former department chair at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she has taught since 1968. She received her undergraduate degree from Florida Southern College and her master’s degree and doctorate from Emory University. Pratt has served as national president of the American Association of University Professors and the Association of Departments of English. She is a recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Award from the UNL College of Arts and Sciences and the James A. Lake Academic Freedom Award from the UNL Faculty Senate. Pratt chaired the 1997 University-wide Gender Equity Task Force and is a former chair of the UNL Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women. She has also served as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNL and as chair of the campus Academic Planning Committee.
Pratt has written widely on higher education, addressing issues of academic freedom, part-time and temporary faculty, management of academic institutions, and the fiscal structure of higher education.
Pratt lives in Omaha with her husband, Bill, who is a professor of history at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
“It has been my pleasure to be a part of the University of Nebraska throughout my career,” Pratt said. “I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to serve all the campuses, university-wide.”
For biographical information and a downloadable photo, go to http://www.nebraska.edu/about/admin_chance.shtml.