Regents approve two key appointments by provost


Editor’s note: This story has been updated from a previous version.

Kedra Ishop, a veteran university admissions official who has been director of admissions at The University of Texas-Austin since 2009, has been appointed to the new position of associate vice president for enrollment management.

Also in the Office of the Provost, Sara B. Blair, a U-M professor of English language and literature, was appointed vice provost for academic and faculty affairs. Both appointments were approved Thursday by the Board of Regents.

Kedra Ishop

Sara Blair

Both appointees will begin their duties Sept. 1.

Ishop will be responsible for providing strategic leadership for the offices of undergraduate admissions, financial aid, the university registrar and new-student programs in a newly structured, student-centered effort.

Provost Martha E. Pollack recommended Ishop for the position.

“I am confident Kedra Ishop will design and implement a structure that brings increased coordination and cooperation among these units to best serve students and help ensure student success among all populations at the university,” Pollack says.

Ishop began her professional career at UT-Austin as an admissions counselor in 1998. She was the director of the Dallas Admissions Center from 1999-2000, and the director of the Houston Admissions Center from 2000-03. In 2003, she was promoted to associate director of admissions and in 2009 she became the vice provost and director of admissions. 

In her current role she directs the office of admissions for undergraduate and international admissions and the application processing for graduate admissions. She is responsible for the implementation of state policy regarding admissions and she oversees the development, implementation and analysis of the university’s admission policies.

Ishop has earned three degrees from The University of Texas at Austin: her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology in 1997, her Master’s of Education degree in higher education administration in 2000, and her Ph.D. in educational administration in 2008. 

Blair also is associate dean of academic programs and initiatives in the Rackham Graduate School. In her half-time appointment as vice provost she replaces Chris Whitman who is returning to the faculty in the Law School.

Blair will provide strategic leadership for policies and practices to support U-M faculty members. This includes development and implementation of promotion and tenure policies, standards for faculty rights and responsibilities and support for faculty recruitment and retention. She will oversee the annual promotion and tenure process and make recommendations on promotion decisions for non-health sciences schools. Vice Provost Lori Pierce has a similar role with the health sciences schools.

“Given her extensive experience and perspective as an associate dean, I am confident Professor Blair will provide extraordinary leadership in this role,” Pollack says.

Blair joined the U-M faculty in 1996 as a visiting associate professor. She spent a year as a visiting associate professor at the California Institute of Technology, then returned to the U-M faculty in 1999. She was promoted to professor of English language and literature in 2007. Since 2011 she has been the associate dean of academic programs and initiatives in the Rackham Graduate School.


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