Frances Vavrus

Position title: Vice Provost and Dean


Phone: 608.262.2851

268 Bascom Hall

Frances Vavrus

Frances Vavrus is the vice provost and dean of the International Division at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, which leads campus efforts to promote international scholarship and engagement, cultivate global awareness, and prepare students for a diverse and interconnected world. The division is the home to UW–Madison’s distinguished regional studies centers, study abroad and international internship programs, and less commonly taught language programs. It also provides critical services to the university, city, and state on international projects, international safety and security, and holistic support for international students, faculty, and staff on immigration and intercultural affairs.

As a UW–Madison alum, Dean Vavrus has benefited from many of the programs supported by the International Division. She studied Swahili as a graduate student with the support of a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship; she is the recipient of both a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and a Fulbright Scholars Fellowship; she taught in the International Studies Major; and she studied abroad as an undergraduate and led a study abroad program as a professor. In addition, Dean Vavrus has helped to establish institutional partnerships with universities abroad and served as the co-principal investigator for a U.S. Agency for International Development project partnering with higher education institutions in Zambia.

Dean Vavrus served for two decades as a professor of comparative and international education at Columbia University’s Teachers College and at the University of Minnesota, where she received numerous awards for her teaching and mentoring. She has also held leadership positions at both universities and, since 2015, she has served as the North American representative on the Joint ILO/UNESCO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendations concerning Teaching Personnel, a multinational committee of 12 experts that monitors international trends in education and allegations of violations of the rights of K–12 teachers and higher education faculty. Dean Vavrus’ professional expertise and personal engagement in international education enable her to bring a unique perspective to her role as the senior international officer for the University of Wisconsin–Madison.