Susan Poser Biography

UIC Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Dr. Susan Poser is the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she also serves as the Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Poser is responsible for the university’s academic enterprise, including the planning, implementation, and assessment of UIC’s academic programs. Individuals and units reporting to Dr. Poser include the deans of nine colleges and the university library, the Director of the Innovation Center, the Director of the UIC Social Justice Initiative, as well as the Vice Provosts for Faculty Affairs, Undergraduate Affairs and Academic Programs, Global Engagement, Diversity, and Academic and Enrollment Services.

Since coming to UIC in February 2016, Provost Poser has initiated many programs for faculty and students. The monthly Campus Conversation brings together the UIC community to address current issues of national and international importance that affect the lives of our students. The East + West Research Mixers bring together faculty from across the university to meet and discuss a research topic in order to spur interdisciplinary research. Dr. Poser also created the Mid-Career Writing Program to encourage Associate Professors to seek promotion to Full Professor, and the Faculty Administrator Leadership Program, a yearlong program for faculty, particularly underrepresented faculty, who might be interested in pursuing administration. The program matches faculty with mentors and includes required workshops on higher education administrative topics, and it also requires participants to complete a project that addresses an administrative issue at UIC.

Under her leadership, UIC contracted with Shorelight International (which is called UIC Global at UIC) to increase recruitment of international students to UIC. In July 2018, after two years of study and negotiation, the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and the Board of Trustees of the John Marshall Law School both voted to authorize UIC to acquire the John Marshall Law School, which became the newest academic college at UIC on August 16, 2019. In fall 2018, after a committee’s extensive study of the current class schedule, a new class scheduling grid was implemented across the university in order to better utilize classrooms and increase scheduling choices for students. Dr. Poser is currently the Principal Investigator on a 4-year, $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create the Engaged Humanities Initiative at UIC.

Dr. Poser received her bachelor’s degree with honors in Ancient Greek and Political Science from Swarthmore College, and both her J.D. (Order of the Coif) and Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. After law school, Dr. Poser served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Dolores K. Sloviter of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, after which she practiced law and was the Zicklin Fellow in Ethics at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Poser’s academic career prior to the University of Illinois was at the University of Nebraska, first as a member of the law faculty and director of the Robert J. Kutak Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics, then as Associate to the Chancellor, and finally as Dean of the College of Law for six years. During her tenure as Dean, she internationalized parts of the law school curriculum and created an entrepreneurship legal clinic. She raised over 22 million dollars, primarily for student scholarships and capital projects. Over the six years of her deanship, the University of Nebraska College of Law moved up more than 35 points in the US News & World Report rankings.

During her time in Nebraska, Dr. Poser received the University of Nebraska Law College Distinguished Teacher award; the Shining Light Award from the Nebraska State Bar Foundation for outstanding service; and she was named the Outstanding Contributor to Women in the Law by the Nebraska State Bar Association.

Dr. Poser has served as a member of the board of several non-profits, and in volunteer leadership positions at the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education and the Association of American Law Schools. She was recently invited to become a member of the International Women’s Forum of Chicago, The Chicago Network, and the Economic Club of Chicago.