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Dr. Yazedjian’s goals as new acting-Provost

Written by on February 27, 2023

Photo provided by Illinois State University 

NORMAL, Ill. – On Feb. 17, Dr. Ani Yazedjian was officially named acting provost of Illinois State University. She is taking over the position from Interim-President Aondover Tarhule.

Yazedjian previously served as a faculty member for nearly 10 years at Texas A&M University and one year as the Presidential Fellow. As a chosen, tenured faculty member to sit on the president’s cabinet in that position, she realized her joy for administrative work.

Yazedjian came to ISU to accept the position as the department chair of Family and Consumer Sciences in 2013 and stepped into the role of associate provost in January 2019. As she moves into the greater role of acting provost, Yazedjian spoke on the unique functions of her department.

“One of the reasons I enjoy being in this job, or in the provost office in general, is that I really like to be involved in work where I feel like we are making a difference,” Yazedjian said. “My primary goal is really to provide students the best experience possible here at Illinois State University.”

Between her two positions in the department, Yazedjian expressed excitement that no day is the same in the office of the provost. As her department works to support others, Yazedjian’s skills are in putting ideas into action that would benefit students at ISU.

Yazedjian is one of nine members that sit on the president’s cabinet. They report directly to him and have working relationships with him unique to their divisions within the university, including Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Finance and Planning, University Advancement, Athletics and Equity and Inclusion. Unique to her colleagues, Yazedjian has previously worked directly with the president and she talked about their relationship.

“The nice thing about this relationship with Interim President Tarhule is that we have worked together already for a few years. We have a good working relationship and I think that it will be a pretty good transition, even though he’s in a new role, I’m in a new role,” Yazedjian said. “We’ll still be able to carry out a lot of the initiatives that were already going on in our division and then come up with some new initiatives as well.”

Yazedjian’s term as acting provost is for 17 months. Despite having a date her assignment will end, she plans to continue the work she was involved in as associate provost. Most notable is the addition of ISU’s College of Engineering, an interdisciplinary major for Data Science to take classes from 3 different universities and an institutional reaccreditation study on ISU.

Outside of her office in Hovey Hall, Yazedjian is a wife, mother, reader and cook. She often drives her children to their travel sports, reads court-room thrillers and travels around Bloomington-Normal to her favorite eateries. She described her favorite restaurants as Epiphany Farms, Anju Above and Bloom Barwachi.

Yazedjian emphasized a balance between work and home, and how that boundary is important for everyone.

“I work really hard as a staff member here at ISU, but I also feel strongly that not only for me, but everybody needs to have an opportunity live their best life outside of work,” Yazedjian said, “and that we need to respect people’s boundaries. That you have time for work, and you have time to be with your family and to do the things that you enjoy.”