UNC School of the Arts UNCSA provost Patrick Sims


WINSTON-SALEM — UNC School of the Arts has hired a new provost from Wisconsin's flagship university.

The Winston-Salem arts school announced Monday that Patrick Sims will be its next provost, which is the university's senior academic officer and second-ranking official behind only the chancellor.

Sims has been the chief diversity officer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 2013. As a vice provost and deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, Sims oversees the university's diversity, equity and educational achievement division that includes academic tutoring, scholarship programs and other related projects. The division has a budget of nearly $10 million and 83 full-time employees.

Sims joined the theater and drama faculty at Wisconsin in 2004 and went on to found the university's Theatre for Cultural and Social Awareness. UNCSA said Sims is the first Black faculty member in Wisconsin's theater department to reach the rank of full professor.

Sims worked previously at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and theatre studies from Yale University, a Master of Fine Arts in theater from the the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a certificate in higher education administration from Harvard University.

In a statement, new UNCSA Chancellor Brian Cole called Sims "a dynamic leader whose breadth of experiences as an artist, educator, diversity champion and senior administrator will benefit UNCSA immensely as we chart our next strategic steps forward." Sims, meanwhile, said his new post is "a professional dream come true."

Sims starts work at UNC School of the Arts on Aug. 1. His annual salary is $200,000.

He'll replace David English, who left the campus a year ago to become vice president for academic programs, faculty, and research for the UNC System in Chapel Hill. Karin Peterson, the former interim provost at UNC-Asheville, has served in that same temporary role at UNC School of the Arts since mid-2019.

Editor's note: This story was updated June 23 to include Sims' salary, which wasn't available when the story was first published.

Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.​

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