Andrew C. Comrie Selected as UA Provost

Previously, Andrew C. Comrie has served as UA Graduate College dean and associate vice president for research.
Feb. 12, 2013
Andrew C. Comrie
Andrew C. Comrie

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart has named Andrew C. Comrie to the permanent post of senior vice president of academic affairs and provost.

Comrie, who has spent the last two decades at the UA as a professor and administrator, has served in the provost position on an interim basis since August 2012.

Previously, Comrie served as UA Graduate College dean and associate vice president for research.

"The UA is poised for a new season of excellence, which requires innovation, discipline, creativity and a spirit of partnership and collaboration among our leaders," said Hart. "Andrew Comrie exemplifies these and many other qualities that will make him an excellent provost."

"My roots at this institution run deep, and it's an honor to be entrusted with the responsibility of serving as provost," said Comrie. "More importantly though, I believe the University's best days are ahead and am excited to see the UA emerge as one of the world's best universities for the 21st century."

Comrie said the most distinctive strength of the UA is its profound and long-standing culture of interdisciplinary collaboration: "The UA has unique world-class strengths that are magnified by its interdisciplinary approach."

He believes the University’s core academic strengths, willingness to embrace change, interdisciplinary culture and commitment to its land-grant mission provide a competitive advantage in a rapidly evolving higher education landscape.

"I am truly excited by the opportunities we have to develop excellence in education and research, as well as the broader impact, of this great institution. I am looking forward to working with colleagues across the University and in the community to make that happen," said Comrie.

Prior to the UA, Comrie completed his undergraduate work in 1984 at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, having studied geography. He went on to earn a Master of Science in environmental and geographical science from the institution in 1988. He later earned his doctorate in geography from Pennsylvania State University in 1992.

As a UA researcher and climatologist, Comrie has investigated climate variability and change, often engaging with scholars across disciplines and at other institutions. In particular, Comrie's scholarly expertise is in understanding the connections between climate and disease.

Comrie's primary faculty appointment is in the UA School of Geography and Development.

Additionally, Comrie has joint appointments in other UA departments, including atmospheric sciences and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health; he is affiliated with the Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs, or GIDPs, in arid lands resource sciences, entomology and insect science, global change, remote sensing and spatial analysis, and statistics.

In 2006, Comrie was named dean of the UA Graduate College, where his responsibilities included 15 GIDPs. More than 600 UA faculty members are engaged in GIDPs across more than one dozen UA colleges.

Comrie also served as interim co-director of the Office of Technology Transfer and as chair of the UA’s Committee on Institutional Conflict of Interest.

His involvement and impact have extended well beyond the University. He has held national affiliations important to the higher education sector, including service as a board member for the Graduate Record Examination and the Council of Graduate Schools.

Also Comrie, who has published more than 70 book chapters, book reviews and scholarly articles in his field, has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous grants and contracts, collaborating with UA researchers and scientists at other U.S. institutions.

Among the agencies that have funded Comrie's research are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and Science Foundation Arizona.