Rebecca Mitchell takes on role of vice provost fellow at UTPA
By Gail Fagan, Public Affairs Representative
(956) 665-7995
Posted: 08/31/2012
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Dr. Rebecca Mitchell, associate professor of English, has been tapped as a vice provost fellow in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at The University of Texas-Pan American.

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- Dr. Rebecca Mitchell
Her appointment was made by Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Dr. Ala Qubbaj, who praised her prior work with the Academic Committee for External Awards, her participation as a presenter at events for new faculty and the awareness and sensitivity Mitchell has shown toward the needs of new faculty.

"Her publication record is also exemplary, so she's a great model for new faculty who are learning to balance teaching and service with an active research agenda," Qubbaj said.

Mitchell came to UTPA in 2006. She served as the literature program coordinator in the Department of English from 2009-2012 and is a core Honors Program faculty member.

She earned both her master's and Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California-Santa Barbara.

Mitchell is the author of a monograph and numerous articles on Victorian literature and culture and has a long list of University service in pedagogy, assessment and technology development. In 2011, she received the Faculty Excellence in Research Award in UTPA's College of Arts and Humanities.

Mitchell said she was aware of the important strides the office has made in encouraging faculty development, particularly through the New Faculty Support Program, and is excited to be able to contribute to those efforts.

"The Office of the Vice President for Faculty Affairs is dedicated to anticipating and addressing the needs of UTPA faculty, and part of our role is to ensure that faculty are supported and their voices are heard," she said.

Qubbaj said Mitchell will work to streamline many of the processes related to the faculty, including faculty award applications, student course evaluations, and the collection and reporting of faculty data. He said she will also assist in enhancing, strengthening and expanding existing faculty development programs, which help increase faculty members' productivity and satisfaction with the University.

This fall she will introduce a new junior faculty travel program which supports their travel to professional conferences and meetings. Mitchell will also assist with instituting new external reporting requirements related to the implementation of University of Texas System productivity initiatives.

Currently, UTPA has close to 800 faculty members.

"Providing faculty with an environment in which they can thrive professionally and personally will be essential if we are to reach the goals defined in the new strategic plan, and I plan to work hard to do so," Mitchell said.

Mitchell's appointment, which provides a 50 percent teaching release and is renewable every two years, was effective July 16.