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Kimberly Geeslin named vice provost for faculty and academic affairs

Kimberly Geeslin.  Kimberly Geeslin. Kimberly L. Geeslin, a professor of Spanish and Portuguese in the College of Arts and Sciences and the associate vice provost for faculty and academic affairs at Indiana University Bloomington since 2017, has been named vice provost for faculty and academic affairs, effective Dec. 19.

Geeslin succeeds Eliza Pavalko, who has returned to the sociology faculty in the College after serving as vice provost since 2015.

“We look forward to working with Kim Geeslin to further strengthen support for our faculty and academic appointees — from inclusive hiring practices to policies that promote professional growth, including throughout the tenure, promotion and leadership development process,” IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Rahul Shrivastav said. “The relationships she has built during her many years of service to our campus and her ability to foster genuine connections that lead to visionary change speak volumes about her leadership.”

The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs supports faculty in their career paths; sponsors awards and competitions to nurture and recognize excellence; and provides resources for living and working in Bloomington. The office also compiles, revises and makes accessible policies and procedures that regulate academic activities on the campus.

Geeslin received a Master of Arts in Hispanic linguistics and a Ph.D. in second language acquisition and teaching from the University of Arizona before launching her IU career in 1999. Her multiple IU leadership positions include six years as associate chair and interim chair in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and eight years as director of the program in Hispanic linguistics. Since 2021, she has served as director of the Initiative for the Advancement of Women Faculty, an initiative borne of the action items developed following the 2016 Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education survey of faculty satisfaction.

In that effort, Geeslin also co-led a task force appointed by the Bloomington Faculty Council Executive Committee to review and clarify promotion criteria. The task force drafted revisions, adding detail and clarity to several areas of evaluation, which the council voted to approve in 2019. To ensure that this improved policy is implemented consistently across campus, Geeslin helped create training workshops for faculty seeking promotion and for chairs, deans and review committees.

Geeslin said her leadership roles across campus have taught her that collaboratively developed policies — and their thoughtful and consistent implementation — are essential to providing the clarity and stability from which faculty conduct groundbreaking research and provide exceptional graduate and undergraduate education.

“I am particularly excited to focus on developing programming to support new and mid-career faculty; creating fresh, innovative opportunities for faculty at all levels, from non-tenure track to tenured professors; and supporting campus efforts that attract and promote a diverse faculty through support of a culture that values and prioritizes diversity and inclusion.”

As associate vice provost, Geeslin helped oversee faculty personnel matters for 3,000 academic appointees, providing targeted support for faculty at all stages in their careers for 13 IU Bloomington-based schools. Among her other accomplishments in this role, she has:

  • Created workshops on leadership development and promotion.
  • Initiated cross-campus collaboration to foster diversity, equity and inclusion. This included hiring workshops, a bias response network, and training on and stewardship of tenure and promotion criteria.
  • Implemented policies created with the Bloomington Faculty Council, University Faculty Council and other campus stakeholders.
  • Consulted with campus leaders and faculty regarding tenure and promotion, workplace concerns, and application of leave and retirement policies.
  • Developed programming in response to institutional data to support school- and unit-specific initiatives.
  • Oversaw prestigious campus awards, such as Provost Professorships and the Tracy M. Sonneborn Award.

Geeslin’s research focus is on second language sociolinguistics — particularly issues related to the acquisition of Spanish by English speakers — and on the intersection of sociolinguistics and second language learning. She is co-author of a textbook in Hispanic linguistics and has authored three monographs and six edited volumes. Her more than 85 journal articles and book chapters appear in such publications as Language Learning, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Hispania and Spanish in Context, among many others.

She is the recipient of the 2022 Carol Hostetter Lifetime Teaching Career Award; the 2019 David and Cheryl Morley Career Distinguished Teaching Award; the Trustee’s Teaching Award (2001-02, 2007-08, 2011-12); the GSAC Outstanding Mentor Award (2006, 2012); and the 2005 Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching Award.

Jennifer Piurek is director of communications and special projects in the Office of the Provost.