Home Local News Charles Lee Isbell Jr. named new UW-Madison provost

Charles Lee Isbell Jr. named new UW-Madison provost

Charles Lee Isbell Jr. (Photo: UW-Madison)

Charles Lee Isbell Jr. will be the new provost for the University of Wisconsin–Madison. the university announced on Monday. The provost is the university’s chief academic officer and second-ranking leader under the chancellor.

“I am tremendously excited to welcome Dr. Isbell to my leadership team and our community,” says UW Chancellor Jennifer L. Mnookin in a statement. “In addition to his exceptional credentials as a scholar, he is an experienced and effective administrator, a skilled collaborator and an advocate for access to STEM and higher education.

“I am confident that his leadership as our next provost will help advance UW–Madison’s teaching, scholarship and outreach mission in the years to come,” she adds.

Isbell comes to UW–Madison from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he has been the John P. Imlay Jr. Dean of the College of Computing since 2019. Isbell is internationally recognized in his field. According to a press release, he was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021 and has won two “best paper” awards for technical contributions in artificial intelligence and machine learning. He was named a National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow in addition to NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awards for young investigators. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) as well as the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

Isbell, who earned a bachelor of science degree from Georgia Tech and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will succeed Karl Scholz, who is departing to assume the presidency of the University of Oregon.

“Throughout my academic career I have been focused on research and educational reform,” Isbell said in a statement. “I am a strong believer that higher education must play a vital role in creating opportunities for deep engagement in what it means to be an active and productive member of society.

“I’m excited to be joining UW–Madison, a place I’ve long admired for its dynamic and world-leading teaching, learning and research, and I look forward to becoming a part of the Madison community.”

Isbell, who is originally from Chattanooga, Tenn., will begin in his new role on August 1,