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Akua Sarr Appointed Vice Provost

08/20/15
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Akua Sarr (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Sean Smith | Chronicle Editor

Published: Aug. 20, 2015

Akua Sarr, an associate dean in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed as vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs, Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley announced this week.

She succeeds Donald Hafner, who retired this spring after 43 years at the University.

Sarr arrived at BC in 2006, after serving for seven years as assistant dean for student academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Letters & Science. As BC’s A&S freshman class dean and director of the Academic Advising Center, her responsibilities have included overseeing advising orientation of all incoming freshmen and A&S transfers, while working as a liaison with the Office of International Programs and as coordinator of A&S interdisciplinary minors.

“I’ve worked closely with Akua over the last decade and come to admire her commitment to our students and her tireless work to improve the experiences of all Boston College undergraduates,” said Quigley. “Since she arrived from the University of Wisconsin, she has emerged as one of the university’s most trusted administrators and someone whose work has led her far beyond the Academic Advising Center. 

“It’ll be great having her on the team in Waul House as we partner with colleagues across campus to strengthen existing programs and develop new initiatives.”

Sarr said she was “thrilled about this opportunity to continue to work in academic affairs with a group of committed and talented faculty and administrators, all dedicated ultimately to student development. I see the vice provost as a partner in building bridges across our diverse undergraduate academic programs and to provide leadership, new ideas, guidance and support as we advance new initiatives and the Jesuit mission of our institution.”

While at BC, Sarr also has been a faculty member in African & African Diaspora Studies with the Cornerstone and Capstone programs, and taught English in the Woods College of Advancing Studies. She has been involved in numerous University initiatives and programs, as a member of the Diversity Steering Committee, Core Renewal Committee, Undergraduate Council for Teaching, Teachers for a New Era Advisory Board and the Pre-Medical Committee, among others.

Sarr said she enjoys “working with undergraduate students holistically as they work toward their long-term intellectual and professional goals. One of the things I’ve found unique about BC students is their commitment to living a life of purpose and meaning – an important tenet of our Jesuit mission. They take the time to reflect on how to best serve and they do it well: through civic engagement, public service, research, entrepreneurship, teaching or other means.

“BC students are doing such important work both inside the classroom and out, locally, nationally and abroad. I am often in awe of the kinds of meaningful lives that our students are already living. I look forward to continued collaboration across divisions to not only develop, but importantly assess our work to help students reach their human promise and potential.”

A 1985 graduate of Dartmouth College, where she was a Thurgood Marshall Dissertation Fellow from 1997-98, Sarr earned her master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During 1996-97, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Senegal, where she undertook research on women’s activism, women’s movements and the emergence of feminist literature.