Professional News

Update on Acting Associate Provost of Graduate and Professional Education and Acting Dean of The Graduate School

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 1, 2021) — Outgoing University of Kentucky Provost David Blackwell shared the announcement below with the campus community yesterday.


I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Martha Peterson as Acting Associate Provost of Graduate and Professional Education and Acting Dean of The Graduate School. 

Dr. Peterson’s appointment takes effect July 6, 2021.

I am appointing Dr. Peterson to this critical post after receiving recommendations from the graduate faculty and a recommendations committee, as outlined in Governing Regulation VIII.

Throughout an exemplary faculty career at UK of more than 30 years and in several administrative and research roles, Dr. Peterson has frequently worked closely with The Graduate School. She most recently served as the Senior Associate Vice President for Research (VPR), a role in which she advises the VPR on policy and program offerings, oversees several multidisciplinary research support programs that cross department and college boundaries, and facilitates the work of the Office of Research Communications and the Proposal Development Office. Dr. Peterson has stepped down from this role in the VPR office to assume her new responsibilities.  

In more than 14 years of administrative leadership roles at UK, Dr. Peterson has frequently interacted with The Graduate School and advocated for their interests, concerns, and needs, recognizing that success and growth in research requires success and growth of graduate and professional programs. Dr. Peterson is a professor of microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics, where she continues to teach graduate courses, serves on graduate advisory committees, and has a long record of NSF-funded research and graduate student training.

Dr. Peterson will serve as acting dean and acting associate provost until June 30, 2022 or until the position is filled on a permanent basis. 

I greatly appreciate Dr. Peterson’s willingness to serve. Please join me in congratulating her and thanking her. Dr. DiPaola looks forward to working with her to begin the transformation of graduate and professional education at the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Brian Jackson has served tirelessly and selflessly as Interim Dean of The Graduate School since 2016. Please join me in thanking him and wishing him well as he returns to his full-time faculty role.

David W. Blackwell Provost