John D. Simon Cole Geddy

With the appointment of John D. Simon as UVA’s new executive vice president and provost, President Teresa A. Sullivan has assembled a leadership team that will make the key decisions about the University’s future.

In August, shortly after her first anniversary in office, Sullivan announced Simon’s appointment at a media briefing in the Rotunda’s Dome Room. Simon will team with Michael Strine, who in July was named executive vice president and chief operating officer, to create a new internal financial model that will “give us greater transparency, predictability and flexibility, while empowering the individual academic units to be entrepreneurial and cost-efficient,” Sullivan said.

Simon will serve as the University’s chief academic officer, overseeing the academic administration of the University’s 11 schools, the library, art museum and other areas. He comes to UVA from Duke, where, as vice provost for academic affairs, he helped expand Duke’s humanities programs, including its first master’s degree in fine arts.

Simon’s academic background is in chemistry—he graduated from Williams College in 1979, then went to Harvard for his doctorate and to UCLA for a postdoctorate fellowship. He was chair of the chemistry department at Duke before taking on administrative roles.

“In John, we have found the ideal partner to lead the University’s highly ranked academic division,” Sullivan said. “He brings extraordinary experience, knowledge and understanding of how the academy works through a multifaceted lens of a teacher, scholar, scientist and administrator.”

Simon, who succeeds Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., emphasized that the new leadership team’s goals put the University in a unique position to rethink the student-faculty relationship.

“How do we use the tools available today to still focus on the student-faculty relationship?” Simon asked. “It’s the human relationships that are important to me.”