Dr. Gail D. Burd Biography

Dr. Gail Burd is the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Teaching, and Learning at the University of Arizona. Dr. Burd works closely with the Provost, other campus leaders, faculty, and members of her reporting units to advance the academic mission of the University. Her 30-plus years of distinguished service is complemented with tributes to her innovative and inclusive leadership, scholarly research in neuroscience and science education, and dedicated mentorship to students and colleagues alike. Her work and achievements are framed by her commitment to the UA’s mission as a land-grant university and her own vision of “making the world a better place” through leadership, teaching, scientific discovery, lifelong learning, and service.

In her current position, Dr. Burd has oversight of the Higher Learning Commission reaffirmation of accreditation and program-level accreditations, academic program reviews, innovative classroom renovations, and support for faculty instruction and assessment via the Office of Instruction and Assessment and the Center for University Education Scholarship. Dr. Burd is a University Distinguished Professor in Molecular and Cellular Biology with research interests focused on development and neural plasticity in the vertebrate olfactory system and teaching and learning in higher education. In prior administrative roles at the University of Arizona, Dr. Burd served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Science, the interim Department Head of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and the Associate Department Head of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, she has also chaired numerous committees for national professional organizations and served on government panels for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation in addition to receiving several awards for innovative teaching and advising, including the UA Mortar Board Citation Award, College of Science Innovation in Teaching Award, and the Sarlo Family Foundation Outstanding Faculty Award. Dr. Burd currently co-teaches an undergraduate honors seminar on Biomedical Ethics and Health Policy with Regents Professor John Hildebrand. Dr. Burd earned her B.A. in Biology at Trenton State College (now College of New Jersey), her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, performed postdoctoral research at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in MA and at Harvard Medical School in the Massachusetts General Hospital. After three years as an assistant professor at Rockefeller University in New York City, she was recruited to the University of Arizona in 1985.