Diane Z. Chase, Ph.D., the University of Central Florida’s vice provost for Academic Program Quality, has been selected to join the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as executive vice president and provost beginning May 1.

Chase joined UCF in 1984 as a visiting assistant professor of anthropology. Since then, she has earned many honors in teaching and research, including in 2003 being named Pegasus Professor, UCF’s highest academic honor. She has 15 years of academic administrative experience that includes two appointments as interim provost and vice president, in 2010 and again in 2014, as well as seven years in various vice provost roles.

As the vice provost for Academic Program Quality, Chase has led efforts to ensure excellence across all of UCF’s academics through rigorous evaluation and assessment, and she has spearheaded the development of new programs to advance UCF’s mission.

“Diane is an extraordinary academic leader who has tirelessly worked to ensure we provide our students with a world-class education,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Dale Whittaker. “There is no way to replace her – either in person or position. We wish her the very best in this well-deserved new role.”

Chase is internationally recognized for her research on the ancient Maya, and continues to remain active in the field by publishing articles, making professional presentations and conducting archaeological research in the jungles of Belize.

For the past 32 years, she has co-directed archaeological excavations at Caracol, Belize with her husband Arlen Chase, Ph.D., an associate dean in UCF’s College of Sciences and Pegasus Professor in anthropology. Arlen Chase will be joining UNLV as a tenured professor of anthropology beginning in fall 2016.

“Like UCF, UNLV is a young, energetic university with big aspirations, impactful research, diverse and talented students, and high-quality faculty and staff dedicated to making a difference,” Diane Chase said. “But I will certainly miss all of my UCF colleagues and friends who have made working here the most exciting time of my career.”

Since receiving her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982, Chase has authored more than 135 articles and book chapters, as well as authored or edited four books and monographs. In addition, Chase was elected to be a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009.