Meet the Provost

Valerio Ferme, PhD

Valerio Ferme, PhD, serves as the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Valerio Ferme, PhD, serves as the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, providing oversight and strategic direction for the University of Cincinnati's (UC) 50,000+ students, 6,000+ faculty and 15 academic colleges, University of Cincinnati Online, and a collection of state-of-the-art university libraries. As the university's chief academic officer, Ferme oversees the human and fiscal resources that fuel UC’s academic and research mission with assistance from the academic deans and Provost senior staff while also supporting various aspects of faculty and student success.

Ferme joined UC in 2019 as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences - UC’s largest college - overseeing a $125 million budget and 21 departments. During his decanal term Ferme created a 21st Century Task Force to support the college’s strategic plan, spearheaded a college-wide commitment to sponsored research, expanded co-op and academic offerings, and created the position of Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Community Partnerships. Notably, Ferme successfully led the college through COVID-19 campus-to-remote transition, and despite the global pandemic, balanced the college budget for the first time since 2012 by reducing debt through operational efficiencies, increased research, and philanthropic partnerships.

Prior to UC, Ferme served as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Northern Arizona University from 2017-2019 and Divisional Dean for the Arts and Humanities at the University of Colorado from 2015-2017, where he also served as Chair of the Department of French and Italian for six years.  During his decanal term at Northern Arizona University, Ferme successfully addressed budget deficits, increased underrepresented faculty hires, and bolstered collaborations between students and cultural organizations within the Flagstaff area. At the University of Colorado, Ferme’s work also focused on curricular enhancements as well as support for underrepresented minorities. In 2014, Ferme was recognized for his pedagogy with the Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2017 for his work in Inclusive Excellence on behalf of staff and underrepresented graduate students with a Special Recognition Award from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement.

Ferme earned undergraduate degrees in Biology and Religious Studies at Brown University, a Master in Comparative Literature and Italian Studies from Indiana University and a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, where he was awarded Fulbright and Chancellor’s Fellowships. As a scholar, Ferme has published three monographs, three edited volumes, two scholarly translations and a bilingual collection of poetry, in addition to over 60 articles and reviews.