Utah State University recently named D. Richard Cutler as vice provost of graduate studies. Cutler accepted this position after having served as interim vice provost since Aug. 1, 2020.
“Richard has done a remarkable job in leading the graduate school these past few years,” said USU Provost Frank Galey. “His interest in graduate education and student well-being is sincere. He is well-deserving of this position and will continue to strengthen graduate education at Utah State in years to come.”
Since coming to USU in 1988, Cutler has held many teaching and leadership positions. Among others, his roles have included professor, assistant department head and director of the Statistical Consulting Center. The most recent administrative experience Cutler had was as department head of Mathematics and Statistics — where he had served from 2008 until 2016.
“I came to USU with experience as a university-level instructor and conducting research in both mathematics and statistics, but the aspect of my role that I enjoyed the most and developed a real passion for was graduate education and mentoring,” Cutler said.
Cutler has been engaged with graduate education and mentoring from his earliest days at USU. In his very first term, he became the major professor of three master’s students. Since then, he has been the major professor for over 30 graduate students and has sat on more than 80 supervisory committees. As a young assistant professor, Cutler wrote the proposal that led to the establishment of a statistics specialization within the Ph.D. mathematics science program. He also sat as the College of Science’s representative in the Graduate Council for seven years.
In his almost two years of being interim vice provost of graduate studies, Cutler secured new graduate student health insurance; partnered with various entities at USU to add a counseling psychologist to the university’s mental health services; increased opportunities for graduate student interaction and activities; coordinated funding for students affected by the COVID pandemic; and headed a Post-COVID Strategic Planning for Graduate Education working group.
Now that Cutler has been officially appointed to this position, he hopes to continue these initiatives and more. Being a strong proponent of mental health and student success, Cutler hopes to implement the recommendations presented by the post-COVID working group; resume professional development opportunities for students; support graduate student requests for dedicated appeals/grievances processes and ombudsperson services; provide continued support for diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of graduate student life; and increase social interactions and events for graduate students — among others.
“I am incredibly grateful to Provost Galey and President Cockett for giving me the opportunity to lead the School of Graduate Studies and to work with graduate students and many other stakeholders to improve many aspects of graduate student education and life at USU,” Cutler said.
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