Michael Bernard-Donals

Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff


Studio portrait of Michael Bernard-Donals, vice provost for faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison


Faculty and Staff

Areas of Responsibility

As part of the Office of the Provost, the vice provost for faculty and staff works closely with individuals in administrative offices, deans of schools and colleges and other units across campus to address issues of concern to faculty and staff.

The vice provost for faculty and staff supports faculty and staff recruitment and retention through the Strategic Hiring Initiative and the Faculty Diversity Initiative, as well as through the administration of the proceeds of the Vilas Trust, which provides highly prestigious professorships and awards for our faculty.

Working closely with the provost and the vice chancellor for finance and administration, the vice provost for faculty and staff supports an array of compensation programs – including the faculty block grant, the discretionary compensation fund for staff, as well as the promotion and post-tenure review increments – to reward high performance and to address compression and equity. The vice provost for faculty and staff also administers the Cluster Hiring Initiative, which provides funding to hire outstanding faculty whose innovative work crosses disciplinary boundaries.

With other campus partners, the vice provost for faculty and staff offers an array of leadership and professional development opportunities for chairs, mid-career faculty, assistant professors, and members of the academic staff; and provides support, advice, and resources for faculty and staff who have experienced concerns with the climate in their units.


Appointed to vice provost for faculty and staff in 2014, Michael Bernard-Donals is the Nancy Hoefs Professor of English and an affiliate member of the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies. His research areas include the history and theory of rhetoric, the nature of memory and forgetting, and contemporary Jewish studies. His scholarly work and teaching focus on how we remember events like the Holocaust and the effects of those memories on contemporary ethics and politics.

Prior to his work in the Office of the Provost, Professor Bernard-Donals was the chair of the English Department, the director of the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies, the chair of the Arts and Humanities Divisional Executive Committee and chair of the University Committee.

PhD, English, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1991
BA, English, University of Notre Dame, 1985

Research Areas
Rhetorical Theory; Critical Theory, History and Memory, and post-Holocaust representation