Ian B. Baucom is the executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia. As the chief academic officer, he oversees the University’s teaching and research activities and directs the academic administration of the schools, the library, art museums, public service activities, numerous University centers, and foreign study programs.
Before becoming provost, Baucom served for eight years as the Buckner W. Clay Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University. Baucom came to UVA after serving 17 years in Duke University’s Department of English as a professor and as the director of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute.
Under his leadership, Arts & Sciences launched its new College Curriculum to better prepare undergraduate students for 21st-century lives through a reimagined first-year student experience. He advanced the Arts & Sciences research mission and strengthened graduate programs; under his guidance, significant investments have been made in the Graduate School to help draw the most talented graduate students and researchers to UVA.
Baucom worked with UVA colleagues to attract more than 150 renowned faculty members to the College and encouraged a culture of innovation. He continues to emphasize the importance of recruiting at the highest level of excellence and enhancing the faculty’s diversity.
At the same time, he partnered with colleagues across the University to form the Democracy Initiative, enhance UVA’s brain science and environmental initiatives through faculty cluster hires and other programs, and help launch global programs like UVA London First. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Baucom collaborated with University leaders to create UVA Launchpad, an online eight-week summer program designed to prepare students for the world of work by combining liberal arts coursework, technical “bootcamp” style training, and career-focused projects with real-world companies.
Baucom is the author of Out of Place: Englishness, Empire and the Locations of Identity, and Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History. He is the co-editor of Shades of Black: Assembling Black Arts in 1980s Britain. His latest book, History 4° Celsius, released August 2020, places Black studies into conversation with climate change.
Baucom earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Wake Forest University and holds a master’s degree in African studies and a doctorate in English, both from Yale University.