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University of Montana names new dean in Pardis Mahdavi from ASU

Dr. Pardis Mahdavi

A nationwide search for the University of Montana’s No. 2 administrator netted Dr. Pardis Mahdavi, who will become the next provost and executive vice president beginning next summer.

UM announced the appointment last week. As provost, Mahdavi will oversee the university’s academic colleges, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and the Central and Southwest Asian Studies Center, among other sectors.

“I’m excited about UM’s impressive strengths across disciplines – in both research and teaching,” Mahdavi said in a statement. “The institution has demonstrated commitment to students and the campus’s deep connection to place in western Montana. My family and I are eager to connect with and become part of the outstanding Missoula community.”

Mahdavi will arrive in Missoula from Arizona State University, where she currently serves as the dean of social sciences. Prior to her job at ASU, she served as acting dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

She also served as dean of women at Pomona College and president and director of the Pacific Basin Institute. As UM’s new provost, she’ll replace Dr. Reed Humphrey, who will return to his former job as the dean of the College of Health.

“Dr. Mahdavi’s record of tireless support for inclusive student success and her leadership record will serve UM and Montana well,” said UM President Seth Bodnar. “Her decision to join the UM team gives all of us reason to be optimistic as we seek to maintain our positive momentum.”