Mississippi Public Universities
University of Mississippi
Jeffrey S. Vitter, Ph.D.

Jeff Vitter is the provost and executive vice chancellor and the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas. His academic home is the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and he is a member of the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center. KU comprises roughly 2,500 faculty members, 5,500 staff, 30,000 students, and an annual budget of $1.1 billion, and it serves the main campus in Lawrence (with 10 colleges and schools), the Edwards campus in Overland Park, Kansas, and the Medical Center campuses in Kansas City, Wichita, and Salina, Kansas. As provost, Dr. Vitter is the chief academic and operations officer for the Lawrence and Edwards campuses.

Dr. Vitter initiated and co-led the campus-wide development of KU's strategic plan, Bold Aspirations: The Strategic Plan for the University of Kansas, 2012-2017. The plan is KU's transformative roadmap toward its vision of excellence as a top-tier public international research university. Dr. Vitter's primary accomplishments include the creation of the first-ever university-wide KU Core curriculum; major facilities improvements and expansion; expansion of the Schools of Engineering, Business and Pharmacy; boosting multidisciplinary research and funding around four strategic initiatives: alumni outreach and furthering the goals of the capital campaign; major growth of technology commercialization and corporate partnerships; incentivizing innovation; and administrative reorganization and efficiency.

Previously, Dr. Vitter was on the faculty in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. From 2008-2009, he served at Texas A&M as provost and executive vice president for academics, where he had the responsibility of chief academic officer for a university of roughly 2,700 faculty members, 5,500 staff, 48,000 students, and an annual budget of $1.2 billion, comprising 10 colleges and schools. In addition he oversaw the academic mission of Texas A&M University in Galveston, Texas and Doha, Qatar. Dr. Vitter led the collaborative launch of a number of important recruiting efforts and far-reaching faculty initiatives, including those dealing with faculty start-up allocations, multidisciplinary priorities, balanced scorecard reviews and recognition, and diversity. Most significantly, he initiated and led the campus-wide development of the university's Academic Master Plan.

From 2002-2008, Dr. Vitter served as the Frederick L. Hovde Dean of the College of Science and Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. As dean, he was the chief academic officer and administrator of the College of Science, responsible for overseeing the discovery, learning, engagement and diversity activities of the college's seven academic departments. In approximate terms, the college comprised 325 faculty, 550 staff, 1,000 graduate students, 2,800 undergraduate majors, with an annual budget of $130 million. College courses accounted for about a quarter of the university's 1 million student credit hours. Dr. Vitter led the collaborative development of two college strategic plans-emphasizing both core excellence and multidisciplinary-and led the college's fundraising efforts in the capital campaign. The college grew by two major new buildings and 61 faculty members, several hired under the innovative COA-LESCE faculty program targeting global priorities. Several programs were nationally ranked. He launched a comprehensive study of the undergraduate program: the resulting new curriculum was the college's fist significant curricular change in 40 years. He developed the L.E.A.D. peer mentoring diversity initiative that was adopted university-wide, and with help from his Dean's Leadership Council, he initiated the Science Business Partners Program, Science Journalism Laureates program, and innovative hiring processes.

From 1992-2002, Dr. Vitter held a distinguished professorship at Duke University in Durham, N.C., where he was the Gilbert, Louis, and Edward Lehrman Professor. He served at Duke as chair of the Department of Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences from 1993-2001 and as co-director and a founding member of Duke's Center for Geometric and Biological Computing from 1995-2002. As chair, he led the department to significant improvements in stature-characterized by a top-20 ranking, stellar faculty hires, dynamic strategic plans, culture of inclusiveness, curriculum redesign, administrative reorganization, substantial growth in both undergraduate and graduate programs, creation of a successful industry partners program, and rise in sponsored research expenditures to 250 percent.

From 1980-1992, Dr. Vitter progressed through the faculty ranks and served in various leadership roles in the Department of Computer Science at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

His educational degrees include a B.S. with highest honors in mathematics in 1977 from the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind.; and a Ph.D. in computer science under Don Knuth in 1980 from Stanford University in Stanford, Calif.; and an M.B.A. in 2002 from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. His hometown is New Orleans, La.

Dr. Vitter serves on the Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering. He chairs the Council on Academic Affairs of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). He serves on committees for the Association of American Universities (AAU). From 2000-2009, Dr. Vitter was on the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association (CRA), where he continues to co-chair the Government Affairs Committee. He is an emeritus member of the Board of Advisors for the School of Science and Engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans. He was chair of ACM SIGACT, the Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory of the world's largest computer professional organization, the Association for Computing Machinery. He has served on the executive council of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, as well as on visiting and review committees. Sabbatical sites have included the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley; INRIA in Rocquencourt, France; Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris; Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey and INRIA in Sophia Antipolis, France.

Dr. Vitter has been named a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator, a Fulbright Scholar, and an IBM Faculty Development Awardee. He has more than 300 book, journal, conference, and patent publications and have given more than 200 invited professional presentations worldwide. His Google Scholar h-index is over 65 and he is an ISI highly cited researcher.

His book Algorithms and Data Structures for External Memory (Now Publishers, 2008) covers the field that he helped found. He coauthored books Efficient Algorithms for MPEG Video Compression (Wiley & Sons, 2002) and Design and Analysis of Coalesced Hashing (Oxford University Press, 1987). He co-edited External Memory Algorithms, Algorithm Engineering, and Academic Leadership in Higher Education: From the Top-down and the Bottom-up. His editorial board memberships have included Algorithmica, Communications of the ACM, IEEE Transactions on Computers, PeerJ Computer Science, Theory of Computing Systems, and SIAM Journal on Computing. In addition, he has edited several special issues and serves on the steering committee of IEEE/ACM Transactions of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and the advisory board of PeerJ Computer Science. He has consulted widely and is co-holder of patents in the areas of external sorting, parallel I/O, prediction, and approximate data structures. He proposed the concept and helped design what became the Purdue University Research Expertise database (PURE) and the Indiana Database for the University Research Expertise (INDURE).