New leaders of academic and student affairs announced

July 1, 2020

Dear Colleagues --
I am pleased to share that after extensive national searches we will welcome Kenneth Holmes as senior vice provost for student life and Katherine (Kate) Ziemer as senior vice provost for academic affairs. Kenneth comes to us from Howard University where he serves as vice president for student affairs. Kate works in central administration at Northeastern University, most recently as vice chancellor for learner engagement. In the interim, P.T. Vasudevan has agreed to assist until Kate’s arrival Aug. 3, while Shari Robinson and Ruth Abelmann are covering the senior vice provost for student life role until Ken arrives July 27, and Stacey Hall is helping to manage Wildcat Days and the arrival of first-year students.

While she was most recently in the chancellor’s office, Kate worked in the provost’s office at Northeastern overseeing undergraduate education and experiential learning as well as curriculum for a number of years. She led the development of a new core curriculum, NUpath, led a strategic planning subcommittee on lifelong experiential education, and oversaw the Global Experience Office, peer tutoring and the Honors Program to name just a few. In addition, she co-led a strategy to increase four-year graduation rates.

As the chief student affairs officer at Howard, Ken’s areas of responsibilities included residence life and university housing, the student health center, university counseling, student support services, D1 athletics and intramural sports. Prior to joining Howard, he held similar roles at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the University of Bridgeport and Binghamton University. He improved services for special needs populations, created an academic achievement floors program in residence halls to improve the freshman to sophomore retention rate, revised the code of conduct and reorganized university counseling services to better meet the needs of students.
In addition to welcoming Kate and Ken, I am making two changes in the provost’s office that will better align resources and result in a cost savings. The position held by Julie Williams will not be filled. Instead, all faculty support and development will be aligned under the senior vice provost for academic affairs. Leslie Couse will continue to lead that work and report to Kate. The second change is in the area of online education. As a result of the tremendous growth we’ve seen in online MS programs and the recent consolidation of Academic Technology and Information Technology, support for online programs and instructional design will be managed in coordination with the graduate school and academic affairs in support of the colleges. 

The CEPS and COLSA deans’ searches are in their final stages with strong finalists in both searches. I hope to make an announcement on those soon. Both Chuck Zercher and Jon Wraith have agreed to continue in their roles until the searches are completed.

In closing, I want to thank the search committees for all of these key leadership positions for their support and work to identify a strong pool of qualified candidates during these challenging times. Please join me in welcoming Ken and Kate to the UNH community.
Best regards,
Wayne Jones
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs