On September 1, Professor of English Cindy Weinstein became a vice provost at Caltech. She takes on the role filled for the past seven years by Melany Hunt, the Dotty and Dick Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering.
Weinstein's academic work focuses on 19th-century American literature—a specialty in which she is the author of several monographs and edited volumes. She has been a member of the Caltech faculty since 1989 and served as executive officer for the Humanities for six years, starting in 2008. In her new role, Weinstein will oversee several programs, including the Council on Undergraduate Education, accreditation, the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center, Student-Faculty Programs, The Center for Teaching, Learning and Outreach, and the library system.
"I am looking forward to building on the excellent work that Melany Hunt has been doing. To do so, I want first to know what's working in terms of undergraduate education and what may need attention," Weinstein says. "I'm especially interested in student outcomes. Is the undergraduate curriculum meeting the goals we set for our students, including goals related to writing, critical analysis, and, of course, science and engineering? If there are areas where we can do better, I hope to work closely with faculty to arrive at and implement solutions."
As part of her responsibilities, Weinstein will be working closely with the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach and leading a committee that explores the role that new forms of technology might take in the classroom. "I will be thinking about creative ways of teaching our students, such as flipped classrooms and MOOCs, and what educational innovations make sense given Caltech's size and goals," she says.
In addition, she will be involved with the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, as well as the President's Diversity Council.
Originally from New Jersey, Weinstein received her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University in 1982 and her doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1989.
"I've been teaching at Caltech for 25 years. My kids learned to ride their bikes at Caltech, and my dogs love to go for walks at Caltech. As vice provost, I am looking forward to continuing Caltech's traditions of excellence and helping to bring to campus new possibilities for teaching and research that will yield even more success for both students and faculty," she says.