Portrait photo of Kathi Kern

Kathi Kern

Vice Provost for Educational Innovation, University of Miami, United States

Kathi Kern joined the University of Miami in July 2022, as the inaugural Vice Provost for Educational Innovation and is responsible for designing the University’s strategy in leading and executing the educational revolution. She leads the Platform for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (PETAL), which supports teaching excellence and offers resources for faculty members to improve their instructional skills. Additionally, she helps to oversee the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan and works closely with Academic Technologies, a division of the University’s department of Information Technology. As part of educational innovation, Dr. Kern advises the Deans on developing new, innovative degree programs, both online and residential.

Dr. Kern has led faculty development projects around the globe, including sustained initiatives in China, Japan, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and across the United States. She brings her passion for innovative, inquiry-based, hands-on learning to the U, where she partners with faculty members from 12 schools and colleges to foster a truly transformative education for students.

An award-winning professor of history, scholar, author, and lecturer, Dr. Kern’s research centers on the women’s rights movement, with particular focus on the ways in which politics, gender, and religion intersect to create new ideological positions and social change in the U.S. She is keenly interested in contemporary women’s political and social conditions and seeks ways to make higher education more responsive to issues of inclusion and diversity. At the University of Miami, she joins the College of Arts and Sciences as a professor of Religious Studies.

Dr. Kern previously served as a professor of history and associate provost for Teaching, Learning, and Academic Innovation at the University of Kentucky. She was the founding Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching and led the successful expansion of online learning at Kentucky.

She earned a Ph.D. in American history at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities and a winner of the Dean’s Award for distinguished teaching.

She is the author of numerous articles as well as the book, “Mrs. Stanton’s Bible (Cornell University Press, 2001), named a Choice Outstanding Academic Book. In 2016 she was named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Organization of American Historians. In 2018, she co-edited the book, “Strategies for Teaching Large Classes Effectively in Higher Education (Cognella, 2018). Currently, she is working on a book entitled “The Tagore Craze in America,” a study of American readers’ engagement with the work of Rabindranath Tagore.

As a faculty member at Kentucky, she won the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching (1995), Alumni Great Teacher Award (2003) and the College of Education’s “Teachers Who Make a Difference” Award (2001, 2004).  In 2009-2010, Dr. Kern served as the Stanley Kelley Jr., Visiting Associate Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University.

Her scholarly work on teaching has led to a career of public service to teachers around the world. Through the auspices of the National Faculty, Dr. Kern taught summer institutes for teachers in the Mississippi Delta, Alaska, and at the Smithsonian Institute from 1993-1999. In 2008, she was a co-winner (with two other University of Kentucky colleagues) of the National Technology Leadership Initiative Award in Social Studies for their research project on digital storytelling and history instruction.

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