Karin Peterson of UNC Asheville is named interim provost at UNCSA
Chancellor Lindsay Bierman has announced the appointment of Karin E. Peterson of Swannanoa as interim executive vice chancellor and provost, effective May 15. She will succeed David English, who will become vice president for Academic Programs, Faculty, and Research for the University of North Carolina (UNC) System on May 1.
Peterson has been serving as interim provost and vice chancellor at UNC Asheville since January 2018. As UNCA’s chief academic officer, she oversees more than 30 degree programs, more than 220 full-time faculty, and more than 3,800 students.
“I’m confident that Dr. Peterson’s extensive experience at our sister institution and her history of leadership success make her the right person to fill this critical transitional role as we continue to enhance and evolve our artistic and academic programs,” Bierman said.
Peterson has been on faculty at UNC Asheville since 1999, serving as chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology from 2012-17 and playing a prominent role in numerous campus projects and service assignments. In 2017, she was a UNC System Office Academic Affairs Fellow, working on a project to enhance the efficacy and agency of department chairs.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the UNC School of the Arts community,” Peterson said. “I am especially excited about serving North Carolina’s institution dedicated to the conservatory model of educating artists.
For me, academic leadership is about helping institutions best serve students, who deserve an education that invites them to grow, engages their intellect and heart, and cultivates imagination and creative problem solving.
“For me, academic leadership is about helping institutions best serve students, who deserve an education that invites them to grow, engages their intellect and heart, and cultivates imagination and creative problem solving. I also believe in supporting faculty and staff so that they can lead fulfilling careers in their own right as performers, scholars and educators,” she continued. “I look forward to working with the strong and talented team led by Chancellor Bierman, and to helping the UNCSA community continue to build on its strong legacy of artistic education.”
Peterson is trained as a sociologist of art and culture. During her graduate studies in Paris, she studied how women artists manage their artistic reputations, and completed a second project on how new Parisian art dealers create reputations in a competitive marketplace. In the U.S. context, she has focused on museums and cultural hierarchies and the production of artistic value for traditionally devalued cultural objects such as quilts and other works not originally made as fine art.
She received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Virginia. She also completed graduate work, receiving the Diplôme d’études approfondies in Sociology of Art from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, in addition to a Maîtrise and a License from Université de Paris V. Her undergraduate degree is a B.A. in Sociology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Va.
Chancellor Bierman said he plans to launch a national search soon and expects to fill the position by July 1, 2020.