Tens of thousands of people will come to the University of Virginia’s football game against North Carolina State University, a rare home matchup on a Friday evening. Wynne Stuart helps make sure faculty teaching classes that overlap with the game know where to park.
Hosting a weeknight football game is a huge logistical undertaking, as some classes are still in session at that time. Tailgating fans, students and professors will share parking around Scott Stadium. Stuart has to work that out with the registrar’s office and Parking and Transportation, then she has to reach out to the people with permits to park in the lot.
“At this point, quite frankly, I saved the report from 2021, the last time we did this,” Stuart said.
If all goes well, her behind-the-scenes work will go unnoticed.
The associate provost for academic support and classroom management is behind many “invisible” things like this at the University. She makes sure that a student who wants to put on a concert won’t disrupt nearby classes, and that a professor who uses a wheelchair teaches in an accessible classroom.
It’s Stuart’s job to ensure that classrooms have what both students and instructors need, and that University events don’t interfere with learning. “I’m a matchmaker,” Stuart said.
Sometimes, that means she’s putting people in touch with who they need to talk to about an idea to improve the University. Other times, she’s making sure that a graduate student teaching assistant with back-to-back classes has all of those classes in the same building.
Her logistical talent has been years in the making. Stuart came to the University of Virginia in the late 1970s as a graduate student in French. She’s been here ever since. She decided that she didn’t want a teaching job and instead accepted an administrative position in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
“We have faculty who are wonderful, and touch our students, but in administration, although it’s unseen, you can have a positive effect for many students,” Stuart said.
From there, she went to the provost’s office. She started as an assistant to the associate provost for academic support and classroom management. Now, she’s the associate provost herself.