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Brower named to UW System and UW-Extension posts; Olsen selected as interim vice provost for teaching and learning

August 22, 2012 By Dennis Chaptman

Christopher Olsen has been named interim vice provost for teaching and learning at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, following Aaron Brower’s appointment as interim provost at UW-Extension and special assistant to UW System President Kevin Reilly.

Photo: Christopher Olsen


Brower, who has served as the university’s vice provost for teaching and learning since 2007, will begin his new duties with the beginning of the fall semester.

“My new positions offer a great opportunity to help build on Wisconsin’s reputation for higher education excellence,” says Brower, who is also a professor of social work, integrated liberal studies and educational leadership and policy analysis. “What I have been most proud of at UW–Madison is having a transformative impact on student lives through learning, and I plan to continue and expand on that throughout the state in my new roles.”

Photo: Aaron Brower


Olsen, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of public health at the School of Veterinary Medicine, says he is eager to begin.

“I’m looking forward to working across the entire campus to enhance student learning and to engage with a world class faculty and staff to develop innovative and even more effective ways of teaching,” Olsen says. “Working together to harness our resources and our creativity will be vital as we identify new, effective and exciting ways to learn.”

Provost Paul M. DeLuca Jr. says Olsen’s job is a key leadership position as the campus weighs a variety of educational innovations that will help define its future.

“Aaron’s leadership has helped build on our tradition of excellent teaching and learning strategies, and he has positioned us well for future success,” says DeLuca. “Chris inherits that tradition along with the challenge of advancing our mission. His work at the School of Veterinary Medicine and on various campuswide educational administrative and assessment committees shows he has the judgment, skills and love of teaching and learning to get the job done.”

At the veterinary school, Olsen led development of a dual-degree (DVM-MPH) program with the School of Medicine and Public Health, reformulated the new student orientation program and developed a comprehensive educational programs assessment program at the department and school-wide levels.

In his new role, Olsen’s primary focus will be undergraduate education and teaching and learning initiatives more broadly.

One of his priorities will be Educational Innovation, a campuswide initiative entering its second year. The goal of Educational Innovation is to enhance student learning while improving the university’s capacity to reach learners and identifying new revenue sources.

The office is also heavily involved in the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates, an initiative that uses a supplemental tuition charge to invest in the quality of the undergraduate experience while vastly expanding the pool of need-based aid available for UW–Madison students and their families.

For more information, visit the Educational Innovation and Teaching and Learning websites.