The Office of the Provost is pleased to announce that Tracey L. Weldon, the associate dean for diversity, interdisciplinary programs, and social sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed interim dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education, effective January 1, 2021.
She will succeed Cheryl Addy, who has been named vice provost and dean of the faculty.
“Professor Weldon is a respected scholar with expertise in quantitative sociolinguistics, language variation, and African American English and a strong leadership record that includes contributing to the development of the university’s strategic plan and our institutional planning related to the COVID-19 crisis as the interim chief diversity officer; serving as graduate director of the Linguistics program and member of the Graduate Council; helping to shape interdisciplinary programs and social science as an associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences; and participating as a fellow in the Southeastern Conference’s Academic Leadership Development Program,” said Provost William F. Tate, who made the announcement.
“Tracey’s demonstrated commitment to academic excellence, diversity, research training, graduate education, and multi-institutional partnerships makes her the ideal leader to support graduate students and to advance the graduate education enterprise at the University of South Carolina in a fashion that aligns with our ambitious goals in the university’s strategic plans,” Tate added.
Dr. Weldon joined the University of South Carolina faculty in 2000, with a joint appointment in English and Linguistics. A native of Columbia, SC, Weldon received her B.A. in French and English from Furman University and her PhD in Linguistics from The Ohio State University. Prior to coming to UofSC, she held a faculty appointment in the Department of English at North Carolina State University.
As a quantitative sociolinguist, Weldon specializes in American dialects, with a particular focus on Gullah and African American English. She has taught classes on African American English, Language and Gender, Survey of Linguistics, and Varieties of American English. She is an Associate Producer of “Talking Black in America,” a 2017 documentary produced by the Language & Life Project at North Carolina State University. And her forthcoming book, entitled Middle Class African American English, will be released by Cambridge University Press in January of 2021.
Weldon brings to this role prior service on UofSC’s Blue Ribbon Committee focused on graduate student life. As the first Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Arts and Sciences and one of the founding members and co-chairs of UofSC’s Council of Academic Diversity Officers, Weldon has played an integral role in building the diversity infrastructure for the university. She served as the inaugural chair of the University’s Black Faculty Caucus. And she has participated in the university’s Pipeline for Academic Leaders program.
“I look forward to bringing my diversity lens to graduate education at the University of South Carolina,” said Weldon. “This is a tremendous opportunity to help shape the future of the Graduate School in accordance with the goals set forth in the new strategic plan and to work under the leadership of Provost Tate to further elevate the profile of graduate education here at UofSC.”
As interim Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Weldon will work with students, faculty, graduate directors, department chairs, deans and other members of the senior leadership team to ensure sustained high-quality programs leading to all graduate degrees.