UAB Provost Eli Capilouto has announced the appointment of two vice provosts who will lead a recently reorganized administrative structure. Suzanne Austin, Ph.D., will be the new vice provost for Student and Faculty Success effective Jan. 1, 2011. Harlan M. Sands, J.D., MBA, is vice provost for Administration and Quality Improvement for the university.

Suzanne Austin
Harlan Sands
Austin's appointment comes after a national search for a newly created position designed to promote strong student and faculty engagement and learning. She will lead the Office of Student Life, both university libraries and several faculty and student support units that focus on student and faculty development, retention and enrichment. Sands, who came to UAB in June 2007 as associate provost for Administration and Finance, is responsible for providing leadership for academic administration, strategic planning, enrollment management, finance, budgeting, student support operations and compliance. His appointment was made in October.

"The restructuring and streamlining of the Office of the Provost was designed to provide more effective and efficient service to the UAB community and ensure student and faculty success," Capilouto said. "I appreciate the efforts of all in our various units who have worked together to bring us to this point and look forward to the successes we will have in the future.

"I also would like to thank former School of Medicine Dean Robert Rich (M.D.) for his service in leading the search for the new position," Capilouto said. "He and the other committee members share the vision of an organization that both supports and rewards congruent student and faculty success."

Austin is coming to UAB from the University of Delaware, where she currently serves as interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development and has held various other administrative positions, including associate provost for Academic Affairs, associate dean for the Social Sciences and History and assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. A member of that university's history department since 1985, she is now a professor of history and Latin American Studies who has published numerous books, translations and articles on global issues with a focus on world epidemics and disease, including Native Society and Disease in Colonial Ecuador, which has been translated into Spanish.

In 2004 Austin was one of 38 faculty members in the nation selected to be an American Council on Education Fellow, and in the last three years she has served on accreditation teams for the Middle State Commission on Higher Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and as a reviewer for national screening committees of the U.S. Graduate Student Fulbright Program. She earned her doctoral degree in history from Duke University and a master's degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also holds a bachelor's degree in English and journalism from North Carolina State University.

"The University of Delaware, like UAB, is among only 96 public and private universities classified as an institution of 'very high research activity' by the Carnegie Foundation," Capilouto said. "Dr. Austin's extensive faculty and administrative experience at such a comparable institution will prove invaluable as we work together to provide expanded opportunities for our students and faculties.

"We are delighted to welcome her to the university and to Birmingham," he said.

Sands, who since September 2009 has assisted the provost in managing and directing UAB Student Affairs, was originally charged with responsibilities for financial management, budget oversight, academic program policy development and oversight, long-range strategic planning and capital investments, academic space allocation and operational oversight of the university compliance program. Prior to coming to UAB, he served as associate vice president for Research at Florida International University (FIU) and Executive Director of FIU's Applied Research Center. He was also an assistant public defender in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Miami, Fla., and served more than 10 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, holds an MBA from George Washington University, and received a juris doctorate from George Mason University.

"Harlan Sands has provided strong, dynamic leadership at a time when UAB is experiencing rapid growth, as well as significant economic challenges," Capilouto said. "His dedication to providing effective and efficient support services for the UAB community and his ability to supervise and coordinate diverse units are characteristics that make him uniquely qualified to lead in this position."