UNLV President Len Jessup has selected Diane Chase as the university’s next executive vice president and provost, effective May 1. Chase is currently vice provost for academic program quality at the University of Central Florida (UCF).
A noted archaeologist, Chase joined UCF in 1984 and for the past 15 years has served in a variety of administrative roles for the nation’s second largest university.
As UNLV’s chief academic officer, Chase will work closely with deans and faculty to develop, implement, and promote educational and scholarship goals and provide leadership to ensure excellence in the university’s academic mission. She will also oversee academic and budgetary policy and priorities and partner with President Jessup to implement UNLV’s ambitious strategic plan to become a top tier public university in research, education, and community impact.
“Diane is a dynamic leader whose expertise as a faculty member and administrator will benefit UNLV greatly and help drive us toward our Top Tier goals,” said UNLV President Len Jessup. “Her rich experience at UCF aligns with our vision at UNLV to build strong academic programs, support faculty and student success, and forge community partnerships.”
Chase brings broad administrative experience to UNLV, having served in leadership roles in academic affairs, planning and evaluation, international and interdisciplinary studies, arts and humanities, and for a time as interim provost. She led accreditation and assessment activities for UCF and was a member of the president’s advisory staff.
"I am excited to work with President Jessup and the stellar faculty and staff members at UNLV,” said Chase. “Like UCF, UNLV is a young, energetic university with big aspirations, impactful research, diverse and talented students, and high-quality faculty and staff dedicated to making a difference.”
A prolific scholar and researcher, Chase’s archaeological work on the ancient Maya earned UCF’s highest faculty honor and led to her election as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She remains active in archaeology, publishing articles, presenting at conferences, and conducting fieldwork in the jungles of Belize. Her research, which involves reconstruction of ancient Maya civilization through a combination of fieldwork and new technologies, examines the complex relationships that existed among these ancient people and their environment.
Chase received a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982 and bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the university in 1975. She replaces Nancy Rapoport, who has served as acting (UNLV) provost since July 2015. Rapoport will return to her work on strategic initiatives for the president in May and already has resumed teaching at the Boyd School of Law this semester.
“I want to thank Nancy for all her contributions as acting provost and for the sacrifices she has made during this period,” said President Jessup. “She demonstrated tremendous leadership and reinforced the value of our team approach when she agreed to serve as provost while we conducted a national search.”