University Letter

UND's faculty and staff newsletter

Finalists will interview Oct. 4-10 for Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs position

Four finalists for the position of vice provost for faculty affairs have been invited to the University of North Dakota for on-campus visits. The vice provost for faculty affairs will aid in advancing the academic mission of the University of North Dakota by providing leadership and vision for all aspects of the faculty experience, and working to build an ecosystem of faculty excellence, opportunity, achievement, shared governance, and support at the institution.

Open forums are scheduled Oct. 4-10. The schedule is below, as well as biographical information provided by the finalists. More details, including links for feedback surveys, can be found on the VPFA search website.

Christopher E. Garrett, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2-3 p.m., O’Kelly Hall, Room 343

Randi Lynn Tanglen, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2-3 p.m., O’Kelly Hall, Room 343

Ryan Zerr, Friday, Oct. 7, 2-3 p.m., O’Kelly Hall, Room 343

E. Yueh-Ting “Y-T” Lee, Monday, Oct. 10, 2-3 p.m., O’Kelly Hall, Room 343


Christopher Garrett

Dr. Christopher Garrett serves as Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and Professor of Education at Nevada State College in Henderson, Nevada. With fifteen years of experience leading faculty affairs initiatives, Garrett has demonstrated an ability to work with faculty and academic leaders across disciplines, mentoring faculty across career stages and promoting high-impact, inclusive educational practices. He has coordinated faculty mentoring programs, organized new faculty orientations, designed and led professional development activities, coached department chairs on developing leadership skills and on conducting teaching evaluations, helped faculty prepare portfolios for promotion and tenure applications, and directed faculty award recognition programs.

As chair of the Core Curriculum Revision Committee at Nevada State, he led the campus-wide initiative to reform general education, selecting new Essential Learning Outcomes, designing a new second-year integrated learning community experience for students, and assessing learning outcomes via e-Portfolios. His research interests include seventeenth-century devotional literature and the scholarship of teaching and learning. After earning a bachelor’s degree at Brigham Young University in American Studies, he continued his academic training at Oregon State University (M.A., Interdisciplinary Studies) and Texas A&M University (Ph.D., English). Garrett has taught in higher education for nearly two decades at various institutions including large R1, small private, and medium-sized public universities. He teaches courses in literature, college success, composition, and education. Garrett is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, former President of the Intermountain Consortium of Faculty Development, and serves on the review board of To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development.


Randi Lynn Tanglen

Dr. Randi Lynn Tanglen was born in Sidney, Montana and has degrees from Rocky Mountain College (B.A., English Education), the University of Montana (M.A., English), and the University of Arizona (Ph.D., English). For twelve years she was on the faculty at Austin College in Sherman, Texas and was promoted to the rank of full professor of English in 2019. While at Austin College, she served as director of the gender studies program, interim chair of the English department, and director of the Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching. Her co-edited volume Teaching Western American Literature appeared in 2020, and her essays on American women writers, western American literature, and literary studies pedagogy have been published in Western American Literature, Southwestern American Literature, and several edited volumes.

On June 1, 2020, Tanglen became executive director of Humanities Montana, the non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in her home state. In this role, Tanglen has overseen the distribution of almost $1 million in congressionally approved COVID-19 relief funds to cultural organizations throughout Montana. Along with civic engagement programming, she has advanced diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and strategic planning initiatives within the organization. Tanglen lives in Missoula, Montana, where she serves on the Missoula Public Library board of trustees.


Ryan Zerr

Dr. Ryan Zerr is a professor of mathematics at the University of North Dakota, where he has served as a faculty member for the past 19 years. His mathematical background is in operator theory and real analysis, with more recent mathematical work in the areas of dynamical systems and discrete geometry. His scholarly writing also includes work on faculty development, assessment, general education, and mathematics pedagogy – this last informed through teaching courses across the mathematics curriculum.

Zerr’s experience in university shared governance includes service stretching from the department to the institutional level. He has served as the chair of the UND University Senate and has chaired or co-chaired multiple university-wide committees and working groups. His present shared governance work includes membership on the University Senate and the University Strategic Planning Committee, and he is a co-chair of the institutional reaccreditation executive committee. He is currently the chair of the Department of Theatre Arts and an associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences. He has previously served as the Director of Essential Studies and as associate chair within the Department of Mathematics.

Zerr earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Iowa State University and also holds an M.S. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Meteorological Studies from the University of North Dakota.


Yueh-Ting “Y-T” Lee

Dr. Yueh-Ting “Y-T” Lee is a Professor of Psychology at Southern Illinois University (SIU) at Carbondale where he served as the Dean of the Graduate School (2015-2019). Since 2020 he has served as an academic leader for faculty members (e.g., Faculty Senate President elected twice in 2021 and 2022 to represent approximately 1500 faculty members) at SIU Carbondale. Before he came to SIU Carbondale, Dr. Lee had served as an administrator in various capacities, including Departmental Chair at Minnesota State University, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Associate Vice President at the University of Toledo, Ohio, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Minot State University in North Dakota.  

Lee received his BA in English and American Literature from Central South University in China and had graduate education in Psychology from Beijing Normal University before he immigrated to the United States. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Stony Brook University and completed his postdoctoral training and research at University of Pennsylvania in the early 1990s. He has authored and co-authored approximately 120 refereed journal articles and peer-reviewed book chapters and produced 12 scholarly books. Lee has secured and implemented approximately $6.6 million in grants to support research, education and training and other projects. He fundraised approximately $9.0 million (in various gifts and donations) for educational institutions and cultural communities – scholarships, fellowships, endowments, and capital campaigns. He has served as a peer evaluator/site visitor for doctoral program accreditation for American Psychological Association and for institutional accreditation for North Central Association—Higher Learning Commission for the past 20 years.