Professor Paul Paton is University of the Pacific's first Vice Provost.

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New faces in the Provost’s Office

Pallavicini makes two key appointments and strengthens her team
Nov 26, 2012

The Provost's Office has been strengthened in the past few months to help tackle many of the university's top priorities.

Provost Maria G. Pallavicini  reconfigured the Provost's Office with new appointments as part of this transformation. Two new positions are the vice provost -Paul Paton - and executive director - Dave Hemenway.  Paton oversees all academic affairs offices, while Hemenway is responsible for creating and managing Pacific's Institutional Effectiveness initiative. Both positions are discussed in the Spring 2012 WASC report and will play key roles in student success and program review respectively.

The Vice Provost
"Vice Provost Paton is not only highly respected as a scholar and teacher, but he brings a remarkable combination of academic, legal, government and private sector experience to this key role," Pallavicini said. "In this new position, he will work across the university to help focus and drive forward several Pacific programs and initiatives that are extremely important for student success and academic quality."

Appointed the University's first vice provost in August after a national search, Paton provides direct oversight of the associate or assistant provosts for Academic Affairs, Research, and Professional & Continuing Education, as well as the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Director of International Programs and Services. He currently chairs the University's Information Strategy and Policy Committee;  is directing market research for new academic programs; and collaborates on  academic renovation projects and facilities utilization. He has been tasked with primary responsibility for leading university-wide collaborative efforts for student success, learning and retention. He also acts on behalf of the Provost as required.

Paton holds a BA and a law degree from the University of Toronto, an MPhil in international relations from Cambridge University, and master's and doctoral degrees in law from Stanford, where he was a fellow in the Keck Center on Legal Ethics and the Legal Profession. He joined the faculty at the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 2008, and has held appointment there as a tenured professor of Law and Director of the Ethics Across the Professions Initiative, a 10-year grant funded by the Sierra Health Foundation. He came to Pacific from the Faculty of Law at Queen's University, one of Canada's leading medical-doctoral universities. He served as associate director of the multidisciplinary undergraduate Canadian Studies Program at the University of Toronto between 1994-1997, and was its acting director in 2000-01.

Paton had a distinguished career in private practice, corporate counsel, and public service settings.More information about Paton's professional and academic experience can be found online at

Director of Insitutional Effectiveness
Dave Hemenway,  the new Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness, is also new to the office. Hemenway is tasked with developing and implementing a system of program reviews that can produce data about how well Pacific's administrative and academic programs are performing. A story about this change was published earlier this semester and can be found online at

Hemenway has more than 30 years of assessment, institutional research, planning and management experience at businesses, government and in higher education, including at Montgomery College in Maryland and in the Connecticut State University Chancellor's office.He earned his bachelor's degree in history with a minor in sociology at State University of New York, Albany, and earned a master's degree in History of Ideas at The John Hopkins University in Baltimore. He also completed several post-graduate courses in Education with a specialty in research methods and evaluation research at George Mason University.

"Dave Hemenway is helping address an issue at Pacific that was identified by the recent WASC committee as one of a serious nature," Pallavicini said. "By constructing a system of self-reviews that are consistent across the board, we will get a clearer idea of what is working at Pacific and what needs to be modified." 

Other Recent Appointments
There are two more new appointments in the Provost's suite, though the people in them are both well known at Pacific. Conservatory Assistant Dean David Chase was named senior associate director of institutional effectiveness on a part-time basis and is transitioning into that role. College of the Pacific Professor Lou Matz was appointed as assistant provost of academic affairs last April, and has a broad range of responsibilities for supporting student success that draw on his experience and deep connections across the Stockton campus.

Aditional Changes and Openings
The Assistant Provost for Faculty Affairs, Pharmacy Professor Berit Gundersen, is now half-time in the Provost's Office and will be returning to the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at the end of this academic year. Gundersen has served in the Provost's Office since 2007 and provided valuable support and institutional memory through a period of remarkable change and transition. Her position will be open for recruitment in the New Year. The Provost will also be recruiting from amongst the faculty for a part-time Assistant Provost for Inclusiveness and Diversity, a position for which Paton is assuming responsibility on an interim basis pending an appointment. In addition, following a broad consultation over the past year and the release of a draft white paper about the mission and vision for the Center for Teaching and Learning, a search for a new full-time Director of the Center will also be undertaken during the New Year. Jim Thompson is serving as Interim Director of the Center.  

More information about the office, including updated biographies and an organizational chart,  can be found online at

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