‘Inside UVA’: President Ryan Hosts UVA’s New Provost

June 6, 2022 By Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu

Audio: ‘Inside UVA’ with UVA’s New Executive Vice President and Provost, Ian Baucom(17:45)

Ian Baucom has high aspirations for the University, including “that our faculty represent a diversity of who we are as a people.”


Long before he arrived at the University of Virginia in 2014 to become the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and later, executive vice president and provost, Ian Baucom was a child actor in South Africa.

“The show was called, ‘Oh To Be Me,’ and it was a bit of a boondoggle,” Baucom told UVA President Jim Ryan in the latest episode of Ryan’s podcast, “Inside UVA.”

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“I sang and I acted,” he said. “And for some reason I was swept into a South African television studio when I was about 10 and was asked to return and be a regular on the show – on the condition that I signed up for dancing classes with a couple named Dez and Don. The whole thing was just a scam because you had to take their dancing lessons to be in the show.”

Ryan and Baucom eventually shifted the conversation of Baucom’s new role as provost, a role he assumed in March.

Ryan asked Baucom, the son of missionaries, what he hopes to accomplish as UVA’s chief academic officer.

“I want to work with you,” he said. “I want to work with our faculty. I want to work with our staff. I want to work with our other deans to ask again, what does it mean to be a public university and what does it mean to be a public university now, and what does it mean to actually serve a public?”

As the University continues to recruit an ever more diverse student body, he also said it’s important “that our faculty represent a diversity of who we are as a people. It means that our research mission needs to be superb.”

Baucom said there are projects to work on and an endless number of things to accomplish his goals. “If someone were to ask you, you know, what you try to do as president, I think you begin and end with great and good,” he concluded.

Tune into “Inside UVA” to hear Ryan and Baucom’s full conversation and to explore previous episodes. You can listen on most podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

University News Senior Associate Office of University Communications