As the next provost of the University of Maryland, Jennifer Rice wants to elevate the university’s academic status and push for equitable education.

The university named Rice its next provost on Monday, taking over for interim provost Ann Wylie who began in the role in January. Rice is currently the education college dean, and she began working at the university in 1995.

Rice’s research has specialized in education policy and economics of education in a K-12 setting. Now, she said she wants to take her experience and apply it to higher education to promote an inclusive and equitable learning environment. 

To do so, Rice said it’s going to take a lot of communication to define what she calls “inclusive excellence.”

“I’m really excited to work with the faculty and staff and the students from across the university to really promote this vision of inclusive excellence for all,” Rice said. 

[Education college dean Jennifer Rice named UMD’s next provost]

Rice also looks forward to reimagining the university’s academic reputation post-pandemic. She believes collaborating with groups across the university and state can improve the quality of programs this university offers.

This collaboration includes looking at research and scholarship opportunities as well as partnerships with businesses and industries — all in an effort to see how the university can make a “public impact.”

She’s had wonderful experiences collaborating with university community members, she said. This especially applies to students, who Rice said uplift her with their direction and advocacy. 

“I know our students are going to be the next generation of leaders in this state and beyond,” Rice said.