University of Maryland senior vice president and provost Mary Ann Rankin is stepping down after eight years, the school announced Monday morning.

As provost, Rankin established the First-Year Innovation and Research Experience, offering hands-on research experience to over 500 new students annually. She also contributed to the development of two new majors in data science and the reinvention of the university’s Honors College.

Prior to her role at this university, Rankin was a biology professor and administrator at the University of Texas at Austin for 36 years where she developed the UTeach program. At this university, she founded Terrapin Teachers, a replica which addresses the need for more discipline-based STEM teachers trained by both experienced public school teachers and university experts.

[UMD assistant human resources vice president to leave post]

She recently came under fire for the school’s decision to not offer a pass/fail grading option amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic during the fall semester. Students blasted the decision, saying they faced unprecedented personal and academic challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Ann G. Wylie will serve as interim provost while the university conducts an internal search for a permanent provost. Wylie has over 20 years of faculty experience in addition to her position as a professor emerita of geology.

Rankin’s departure follows other staff changes in the university’s administration. The school announced last week that Jewel Washington, assistant human resources vice president, will be taking a job at the University of Texas at Arlington.

This story has been updated.