March 20, 2015

University Communications

Saint Louis University Appoints Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., as Provost

Noted for engaging students, Brickhouse will serve as SLU’s chief academic officer

ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis University has appointed Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., as provost. Her appointment, which follows a national search, is effective July 1.

As SLU's chief academic officer, Brickhouse will report directly to the president and will oversee most of the University's educational, research and enrollment efforts.

Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D.

"Nancy Brickhouse is a talented, strategic and collaborative leader who has made the needs and interests of students paramount in everything that she has accomplished," said SLU President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D. "Throughout her impressive career, she has been a strong advocate for faculty development, and academic innovation and entrepreneurship. I am confident that Dr. Brickhouse will help further our rise as a premier international research university."

Brickhouse is currently the deputy provost for academic affairs at the University of Delaware, where she has served on the faculty for more than 27 years. She has held several leadership roles at UD, including interim provost, deputy dean of the College of Education and Human Development, and director of the School of Education.

  • As deputy provost and interim provost, Brickhouse's many accomplishments include:
  • Launching new academic initiatives, including the Center for Premedical and Health Professions Studies, which supports students in their application to medical schools and other professional health programs
  • Enhancing the institution's research enterprise and strengthening support for graduate students and research from federal research funds
  • Developing efforts to enhance campus diversity, which increased the number of underrepresented and international first-year students by 15 percent over a two-year period
  • Working with deans and faculty leaders through a campus-wide initiative to revise UD's general education program
  • Developing a plan to increase the impact of professional master's programs through new technologies and expanded global partnerships

Before becoming deputy provost, Brickhouse held numerous leadership positions in UD's College of Education and Human Development, where she focused efforts on enhancing research productivity, improving student outcomes, expanding graduate programs and strengthening external partnerships. Also of note, the college's graduate rankings in U.S. News & World Report climbed more than 40 positions during her time of leadership.

An internationally known researcher, Brickhouse has been the investigator or co-investigator on more than $10 million in funded projects. Widely published in the premier journals of her field, her writings have informed the National Academy of Sciences' K-12 framework for science education and report on informal learning.

Brickhouse's leadership has extended beyond her institution, including working with Delaware's governor on a bill that supported the earlier hiring of UD graduates as teachers, and serving on a task force that established the state's first set of science standards. Among her honors, she has received the "Strong, Smart, Bold" award from Girls Inc. for her work in advancing the participation of girls in science.

A Texas native and the daughter of a chemistry professor at a junior college, Brickhouse holds a B.A. in chemistry from Baylor University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University. Prior to attending Purdue, she taught chemistry, physics and physical science in a rural school district in northeast Texas that bused students from as far as 60 miles away.

"These early experiences shaped my values and strengthened my belief that education is an experience that fundamentally shapes who we are and improves the lives of all those who engage in it," Brickhouse said. "Saint Louis University's Catholic, Jesuit mission and identity resonate with me deeply, and there is nothing I would rather do than share with the world the transformative power of a SLU education."

SLU's national search for a provost was led by a committee of faculty, staff and students. Search committee chair Douglas Williams, J.D., president-elect of the Faculty Senate and a professor of law, said Brickhouse distinguished herself among an impressive pool of highly qualified candidates, and she was the committee's unanimous first choice.

"With Dr. Brickhouse, SLU gains an experienced and enthusiastic academic leader whose career is visibly marked by a tireless devotion to academic excellence; an inclusive, transformative and enriching environment for students, faculty, and staff; research that positively impacts local, national and international communities; and the values and vision that inform and guide SLU's mission as a Catholic, Jesuit university," Williams said.

The search process launched Oct. 1, 2014, and was broadly inclusive. The search committee hosted meetings with stakeholders prior to the launch and planned open fora when the candidate pool was narrowed down to four finalists. The committee continued to keep the University community apprised of its progress through regular updates that were sent directly to all faculty, staff and students.

"I would like thank the members of the search committee, particularly chair Doug Williams, for devoting so much time and energy to this important endeavor," Pestello said. "Selecting our next provost is another significant step in moving SLU forward, and the committee deserves immense credit for engaging so many campus stakeholders in the search process."

Brickhouse will succeed Ellen Harshman, J.D., Ph.D., who is retiring after nearly 45 years of service to SLU. Although she's worked in various units across the University, Harshman is most associated with the John Cook School of Business, where she spent more than three decades as a faculty member and administrator.

In 2003, Harshman broke new ground when she became the first female dean of a major business school in the St. Louis region. She has received a number of leadership awards and honors for teaching. She also has been named to the St. Louis Business Journal's annual list of "Most Influential St. Louisans" half a dozen times.

"On behalf of everyone at Saint Louis University, I want to thank Ellen Harshman for her countless contributions and steadfast devotion to SLU," Pestello said. "For more than four decades, Ellen has been a role model of leadership - mentoring students, collaborating with faculty and living our Jesuit mission - and our University is better today because of her exemplary service."

About Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of more than 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.

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