Catherine Chan named assistant vice provost for high impact practices

The Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA) has selected Dr. Catherine Chan to be assistant vice provost for high impact practices. Her first day with the DDEEA will be June 5.

Catherine Chan headshot portrait
Catherine Chan

A thought leader in the field of high-impact practices and higher education leadership, Dr. Chan specializes in asset-based approaches, research-informed design, and using community engagement to refine equity-minded academic programs and improve organizational excellence. She earned her doctorate in cell and molecular biology and her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from UW–Madison.

“As the new assistant vice provost for high impact practices, I now have the opportunity to collaborate with the talented team at the DDEEA to nurture the next generation of diverse leaders through impactful scholarly pursuits that promote personal and professional growth,” Dr. Chan said. “I look forward to working with colleagues at UW–Madison and beyond to build communities of scholars who thrive as successful citizens in the state, the nation and the world.”

As assistant vice provost for high impact practices (HIPs), Dr. Chan will be a central convener and leader for campuswide diversity and inclusion outcomes related to HIPs. She will lead the development and implementation of a divisional framework to enhance DDEEA student experiences through high-impact educational practices, such as common intellectual experiences, undergraduate research, global learning, service and community-based learning, internships, and student employment. In her role with the DDEEA, Dr. Chan will collaborate with schools, colleges and divisions to build strategic partnerships that help the entire campus community.

“We are excited to have Dr. Chan’s experience, leadership and research expertise in the development and application of best practices for student advancement, achievement and success,” said Dr. LaVar J. Charleston, who heads the DDEEA as deputy vice chancellor for diversity & inclusion, vice provost and chief diversity officer. “I am enthusiastic to partner with her in enhancing student outcomes for our divisional scholarship programs and across the campus.”

Dr. Chan brings invaluable experience in campuswide strategic planning and an ability to integrate research into all disciplines to broaden participation in high-impact practices, increase student engagement, and ensure institutional success.

In her most recent role as executive director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and chief institutional research officer at UW–Eau Claire, Dr. Chan helped students in historically excluded groups succeed by supplying systematic and effective curricular and co-curricular programming rooted in best practices and high-impact practices.

Prior to that, Dr. Chan successfully implemented culturally sensitive practices and student-enabling policies to provide equitable access to research experiences for students from underrepresented minority groups, low-income households, and first-generation backgrounds at UW-Whitewater as director of the undergraduate research program and as a tenured full professor in the departments of biological sciences and chemistry.

As a grant writer and project administrator, she has led initiatives to improve the persistence and academic achievement of marginalized students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These projects encompass curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular programming to provide wrap-around support for students and served as the foundation for other student achievement programs. She is a prolific academic research and evaluative outcomes author and the lead co-chair for the 2023 National Conference on Undergraduate Research.