Skip to main content
Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, University of Maryland


Update on the Graduate School

Dear Colleagues:

As you may know, Charles Caramello has recently ended his long and distinguished career as Dean of the Graduate School. In addition, it has been more than 10 years since the Graduate School separated from the Office of the Vice President for Research, and it seems appropriate at this transition point to review its operations and organization before proceeding with a search for a new dean/associate provost. I have asked Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff Jeffrey Franke to serve as dean ad interim while we conduct a self-study and internal review of the Graduate School. I intend to work closely with Jeff and the Graduate Council as we proceed.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Jeff, he has been Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff of the Graduate School since spring 2013. He received his BA from Stanford University in History in 1981, and his MPA from USC in 1984. Prior to assuming his post at UMD, he served as Associate Dean for External Affairs and Chief of Staff at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University for two years, and from 2005 to 2011 he was an executive officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Since assuming his post at UMD, he has served as co-leader of the UMD Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning, the campus liaison and member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) NRMN-CAN pilot project, and he has done a great deal to improve communications and processes in the UMD Graduate School. I have every confidence that he will do an excellent job with this interim assignment, and I look forward to working closely with him.

After consultation with the Senate leadership and other stakeholders, the review team has been assembled and will shortly begin its work.

I have asked Dr. Jennifer Rice, Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Faculty Affairs in the College of Education, to chair the committee. The other members of the committee are:

  • Elizabeth Beise, Professor of Physics and Associate Provost for Academic Planning and Programs (Provost's Representative)
  • Hugh Bruck, Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
  • Charles Delwiche, Professor of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
  • Michael Faulkender, Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Finance Program, Smith School of Business
  • Meredith Gill, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Art History and Archeology
  • James Hanson, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Ethan Kaplan, Associate Professor of Economics
  • Adria Schwarber, Graduate Research Assistant in the Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, GSG Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Chuck Wilson, Associate Vice President for Records, Registration, and Extended Studies

It is my intention that the review committee will work collaboratively with Interim Dean Jeff Franke and his staff to provide me with recommendations for a strong path forward for the Graduate School. I also expect that the committee will consult widely with the University community and collect information on peer practices as part of their work.

Specific elements of my charge to the committee include an examination of the relationship between the Graduate School and academic units as well as the role of the Graduate School in elevating the stature of the University, in support for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, in furthering the University's strategic goals in diversity and inclusion and global education, and in facilitating the development of new academic programs, workforce needs, and economic development.

The committee is expected to complete its work prior to the end of the fall 2016 semester. 


Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President and Provost