LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 1, 2021) – Outgoing University of Kentucky President David Blackwell shared the announcement below with the campus community yesterday.


I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Martha Peterson as Acting Assistant Vice-President, Graduate and Professional Education and Acting Dean of the Graduate School.

Dr. Peterson’s appointment is effective July 6, 2021.

I am appointing Dr Peterson to this critical post after receiving recommendations from the graduate faculty and a referral committee as set out in Administration Policy VIII.

Throughout an exemplary career as a professor in the UK of over 30 years and in several administrative and research roles, Dr Peterson has frequently worked closely with the Graduate School. She most recently served as Senior Associate Vice President for Research (VPR), a role in which she advises the VPR on policy and program offerings, oversees several multidisciplinary research support programs that cross the boundaries of departments and colleges, and facilitates the work of the Office. research communications and the proposal development office. Dr. Peterson has left this position in the RVP office to assume her new responsibilities.

During more than 14 years of administrative leadership in the UK, Dr Peterson has frequently interacted with the Graduate School and advocated for their interests, concerns and needs, recognizing that the success and growth of research requires the success and growth of graduate and professional programs. Dr Peterson is a Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, where she continues to teach graduate courses, serves on graduate advisory committees, and has extensive experience in NSF-funded research and in training of graduate students.

Dr. Peterson will serve as Acting Dean and Acting Assistant President until June 30, 2022 or until the position is permanently filled.

I greatly appreciate Dr. Peterson’s willingness to serve. Please join me in congratulating and thanking her. Dr. DiPaola looks forward to working with her to begin the transformation of higher and professional education at the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Brian Jackson has served tirelessly and selflessly as Interim Dean of the Graduate School since 2016. Please join me in thanking him and wishing him good luck in his return to his full-time faculty position.

David W. Blackwell Provost

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