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Professor of English
Vice Provost Emerita, UC Office of the President
Fall 2022, on sabbatical
Ph.D. University of Oregon
B.A. University of Iowa
Susan Carlson joined the faculty of the UC Davis English Department in 2011. From 2010 to 2022, she served fulltime as the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel and Programs (APP) at the UC Office of the President. She was the Acting UC Provost during a portion of 2019. During her tenure as Vice Provost, she advised the UC President and Provost on a variety of issues related to faculty and other academic appointees. Her primary responsibility was for systemwide policy and practice in faculty recruitment, retention, diversity, and compensation. She was also responsible for hallmark systemwide UC Programs, including the University of California Press, the California Digital Library, the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, the UC Washington Center (UCDC), the UC Center in Sacramento, and the UC Education Abroad Program.
Her office served as the steward for the Academic Personnel Manual and provided leadership support for over 70,000 academic appointees, including 24,000 faculty. She prioritized programs to support faculty excellence and diversity and led efforts to establish both UC Recruit--a systemwide on-line tool for faculty recruitment--and the Faculty Retention and Exit Survey. She led a series of Leadership Seminars for Chairs and Deans on all UC campuses, providing an original, theatre-based intervention to focus academic leaders on implicit bias and micro-aggressions that occur in faculty peer review. She was the PI and co-PI on three National Science Foundation (NSF) awards to support systemwide efforts to diversify UC faculty. From 2016 through 2022, she led the systemwide Advancing Faculty Diversity program, which has awarded to UC campuses over 50 competitive grants totaling nearly $20M, in support of innovations in faculty recruitment and for the improvement of academic climate.
Prior to her UC Vice Provost position, she was a faculty member and administrator at Iowa State University, where she served as Interim Provost and Senior Vice President as well as Associate Provost. She has published two books on women and comedy and numerous articles and essays on women playwrights, British suffrage theatre, and Shakespeare. Her teaching has ranged from modern drama and political theatre to writing and women’s studies.