Mike Proctor Named Vice Provost for Outreach and Global Initiatives

Mike Proctor Named Vice Provost for Outreach and Global Initiatives

By Alexis BlueUniversity Communications
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With people and initiatives around the world, the University of Arizona's impact is global. Helping to build on that presence, while increasing awareness of the scope, will be part of Mike Proctor's new role as vice provost for outreach and global initiatives.

Proctor, who also serves as the dean of the UA's Outreach College, accepted the appointment last month.

In the position, which reports to the provost, Proctor will work to help expand the reach of UA units doing work away from the main campus, and will focus on more effectively communicating the UA's international role to the public.

"We're doing work in Benson and Beijing, Nogales and Namibia. Why not connect those dots and have that work speak about what this university does and what it is," said Proctor, a UA alumnus who has worked at the UA since 1993 and also has a faculty appointment in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment.

Proctor previously served as senior associate vice president for outreach and international programs under Gene Sander, then vice president for outreach, who also serves as vice provost and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, or CALS.

Proctor earned a bachelor's degree in renewable natural resources from the UA in 1983 and a UA law degree in 1998. He worked as a University attorney for seven years, served as director and assistant vice president of corporate relations for the UA for nearly five years and most recently was the associate dean for external affairs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 

The vice president for outreach position, along with several related associate vice president titles, were combined into the single vice provost position now held by Proctor.  

The new position shows an enhanced international commitment for the University," Proctor said.

"What we found in this whole process is that there are many faculty out there doing this great high-impact work in Arizona's communities and internationally, but many of them have had to cobble things together without any sort of common support or sense of brand identity," Proctor said. "So the sense was: How do we bring that activity together and provide the administrative backbone that it needs to really allow us to state more broadly what our role is as one of the world's high-quality, high-impact universities?"

Whether it's a degree program offered at the UA South branch campus in Sierra Vista or a program offering courses to high school students in China, the UA's reach is extensive, and Proctor said he hopes to promote even further expansion of the University's academic, service and research activities.

"We're a state university but, at our core, we really are a global university. We bring faculty and students from all over the world," Proctor said. "Now is a really important time to start thinking about the real breadth of what we do and expressing that more profoundly."

"We really want to help the communities we work with, both here and abroad, understand that the University of Arizona is their preferred academic partner, that the kind of experience a student can get through connecting with the University is really unique among higher education institutions," he said. "And, internally, it's important that people understand that our whole mission, our processes, are driven by faculty; that it's really about expanding the reach of the work of our faculty."

In his new role, Proctor also will help to shape the UA's participation in the state university system redesign being considered by the Arizona Board of Regents.

The UA plans to establish a "distributed learning model" that would allow people in communities away from the main campus to access UA courses and materials through a network consisting of the UA and community college partnership campuses, Proctor said.

Rather than build new campuses, the UA would work with existing campuses and other facilities to offer UA content. Examples of the model already exist, Proctor noted. For instance, students can complete several UA South degree programs at Pima Community College, East Campus. 

Expanding faculty activities regionally also can be an important step in international growth, Proctor said.  

"Your global reputation starts at home."

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