S. Jack Hu, vice president for research at the University of Michigan, has been named the University of Georgia’s next senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, effective July 1.
Hu was chosen among four finalists identified through a national search to fill the institution’s chief academic officer role. Libby V. Morris, veteran administrator, scholar and director of UGA’s Institute of Higher Education, has been serving as interim provost this academic year.
“The University was fortunate to have four outstanding finalists for this most important position,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I believe Dr. Hu possesses the unique background and experience to continue elevating our national prominence in research, innovation and graduate education while building on our superior undergraduate learning environment. I am excited to welcome him to campus this summer.”
Hu, who also serves as J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing in the College of Engineering at Michigan, oversees a robust research enterprise that spans the university’s campuses in Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint and generates annual expenditures exceeding $1.5 billion.
In addition, Hu is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board.
“I am humbled and honored to join the University of Georgia as its next provost,” Hu said. “As the birthplace of public higher education in America, the University of Georgia has a tremendous reputation for its commitment to excellence in education, research and innovation, and public engagement. I look forward to working with the campus community to build upon the university’s momentum in these important areas.”
Hu is the recipient of numerous prestigious academic awards, including the William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Gold Medal from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
His many accomplishments at Michigan include leading the development of Mcity—an initiative focused on connected and automated transportation—into a leading public-private partnership for research. He also has led the development of international collaborations in China, Israel and Germany.
“The University of Michigan has cherished Jack Hu’s outstanding contributions for more than three decades, and I congratulate the University of Georgia community on his selection as provost,” said U-M President Mark S. Schlissel. “Vice President Hu’s innovative leadership elevated University of Michigan research to new levels of excellence, through collaborations that engaged multiple disciplines in seeking solutions to major societal challenges and an unwavering commitment to integrity and public impact.”
Before becoming vice president for research, Hu served as associate dean for academic affairs and associate dean for research and graduate education in Michigan’s College of Engineering.
Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities, has worked closely with Hu, particularly in her previous role as president of the University of Michigan.
“Jack Hu is an excellent choice as provost for the University of Georgia,” said Coleman. “He is an outstanding, nationally recognized engineer who, as VP for Research at the University of Michigan, promoted interdisciplinary initiatives, nurtured innovation, promoted safety and championed integrity. His broad experience will inform and enhance the work of faculty and staff as UGA implements its vision for the future.”
The search process was overseen by a 24-member committee, led jointly by Dean of the Terry College of Business Benjamin C. Ayers and Dean of the College of Education Denise A. Spangler. The Parker Executive Search firm and UGA Search Group assisted with the search.
Morehead thanked the members of the committee for their leadership and service. “I want to extend my deepest appreciation to Dean Ayers, Dean Spangler, and every member of the search committee for their hard work and commitment to this process,” Morehead said.