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University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thomas Gieryn named IU Bloomington vice provost for faculty and academic affairs

Jan. 8, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson announced today (Jan. 8) that Thomas F. Gieryn has been appointed to the new position of vice provost for faculty and academic affairs.

Gieryn is Rudy Professor and chair of the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. His appointment as vice provost takes effect immediately.

"I am extremely pleased that Professor Gieryn has accepted the position of vice provost for faculty and academic affairs," Hanson said. "Professor Gieryn's own personal record of excellence in research, teaching and service is exemplary. Moreover, he has demonstrated throughout his career a clear commitment to the deepest values of the academy, as well as the administrative skill and energy required to realize those values.

"He has an abiding respect for the importance to the university of faculty governance, and he has the generosity of spirit and intellect required to help foster faculty development. He will bring enormous experience and fresh ideas to this important position."

The position of vice provost for faculty and academic affairs was created as part of a restructuring of campus administration that places the broad functions of the office of academic affairs and dean of the faculties under the leadership of two vice provosts.

Gieryn will provide leadership on issues relating to academic appointments and policies. He will serve as an advocate for scholarly excellence, academic freedom, collegiality and faculty governance. He will manage the tenure and promotion process for the provost's office, oversee the annual cycle of reviews for tenure-probationary faculty and help create a supportive, family-friendly climate for campus faculty.

To learn more about the office of the Vice Provost of Faculty and Academic Affairs, go to

"I look forward to facilitating academic excellence among the Bloomington faculty by providing campus oversight for recruitment, tenure and promotion, by recognizing exceptional achievements, and by offering resources for career development," Gieryn said. "My office will continue to serve faculty governance through the interpretation of academic policies, and through mediation and mentoring opportunities."

Gieryn conducts research on the cultural authority of science and on the significance of place for human behavior and social change. His book Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility on the Line (University of Chicago Press, 1999) won the Robert K. Merton Book Award from the Section on Science, Knowledge and Technology of the American Sociological Association.

An IU faculty member since 1979, Gieryn is also an adjunct professor in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science. He has received numerous teaching and research awards, published dozens of articles in academic journals and served on many university, campus and departmental committees and task forces. He has a B.A. from Kalamazoo College and an M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Gieryn was selected for the vice provost for faculty and academic affairs position after a search that began in October 2008. Kurt Zorn, professor in the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, chaired the search committee.