University of Vermont Provost and Senior Vice President Patricia Prelock today announced the appointment of Leslie V. Parise, Ph.D., as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

Parise has built a long and successful career at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), where she rose through the ranks from assistant to full professor. For the past decade, Parise has served as the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, which currently ranks fifth in the United States for National Institutes of Health-funded biochemistry departments.

“Dr. Parise is a strong proponent of translating research to benefit society,” said Prelock. “She impressed the search committee with her understanding of the importance of UVM’s land-grant mission, and the critical role CALS—and UVM Extension—have played in advancing this mission. She has a track record of working with faculty to promote inventions, patenting, and licensing agreements. And her entrepreneurial mindset resonates with the innovative spirit so central to our UVM community. I have no doubt that Dr. Parise will be an exceptional leader and member of our community.”

President Garimella said of her appointment, “We are delighted that Dr. Leslie Parise is joining the University of Vermont as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She brings an impressive skillset to the university: great prowess in basic and translational research, longtime success promoting entrepreneurship and technology transfer, a commitment to student success, and a proven track record as a leader. We very much look forward to welcoming her to the UVM community.”

Parise said she is honored to join the UVM community. “CALS and UVM Extension play an incredibly important role in demonstrating the power of UVM’s land-grant mission,” she said. “I look forward to meeting and working closely with the world-class faculty, staff and students of UVM, along with residents of Vermont. Finding ways to further engage our constituents to strategically maximize the educational, research and service missions of CALS, and to increase its visibility across the state and beyond will be among my priorities. I look forward to further positioning CALS as a microcosm for positive global impact.”

Widely recognized for cardiovascular and cancer research, Parise’s work has been continuously funded, including more than $14.5M from the NIH. She is also a strong advocate for faculty and student advancement. As department chair at UNC, she worked with faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows to reinvigorate programs through a range of approaches including enhanced internal communication and planning, and increased mentoring.

Parise helped faculty maintain and grow funding through partnerships across campus and with neighboring institutions to facilitate greater investment from foundations and government agencies such the Keck Foundation, American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. She also facilitated partnerships with neighboring institutions to stimulate investment in a highly transformative technology for solving molecular structures called cryo-electron microscopy.

In 2017, Parise was elected Chair of the Faculty at UNC-CH, a role she held until May 2019. In this capacity, she represented all 3,800 faculty of the UNC-CH campus, interacting closely with the chancellor, provost, deans and faculty from within the university, as well as UNC’s Board of Trustees, system president, and a faculty assembly from across the state’s 17-campus system. She has worked closely on issues ranging from curriculum changes, to budget models, to advancing diversity.

Parise will join UVM on May 15.


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