Interim Provost Teresa A. Sullivan

Teresa A. Sullivan, interim provostTeresa A. Sullivan, university professor and president emerita of the University of Virginia, is currently serving as the interim provost at Michigan State University, her alma mater.

As president of UVA, Sullivan led a team that stimulated the revitalization of the UVA Health System, raised faculty salaries, launched an ambitious program of faculty hiring, raised both the numbers and quality of applications, reached new fundraising records, and launched the university’s bicentennial celebration.

Earlier, she was the executive vice president and provost at the University of Michigan, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Texas System, and vice president and graduate dean at the University of Texas at Austin.

In her academic career as a demographer, Sullivan developed analytic techniques for the use of U.S. Census Public Use Sample. She was an investigator on a large international sample survey, and with law colleagues Elizabeth Warren and Jay Lawrence Westbrook, she led several original large-scale data collections of consumer bankruptcy records. The first book-length analysis of the bankruptcy records, As We Forgive Our Debtors, received the Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association. The second book, The Fragile Middle Class, received the Writing Award of the American College of Financial Services Lawyers.

Sullivan has held faculty positions at the Universities of Chicago, Texas, Michigan, and Virginia and has received five major teaching awards. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Michigan State University, where she was in the first class at James Madison College, with a dual major in communication, and member of the Honors College. While at MSU, Sullivan was a member of the Debate Team, Phi Kappa Phi, Mortarboard, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Tower Guard. She holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago and an honorary Doctor of Laws from MSU. 

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