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Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs | University of Michigan-Dearborn Archives

Name: Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Historical Note:

The campus was administered by the directors, and by the chancellor, beginning with the first chancellor Leonard Goodall in 1971. Robert Smock was the academic coordinator from 1970-1972. His main goal was to make the transition from two-year senior college to a four year program, which was seen as vital to the survival of the campus. He continued as associate dean under Dean Arden.

Eugene Arden was appointed the first Dean of Academic Affairs in July of 1972. He was also professor of English. Dr. Arden received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University, his master’s. from Columbia University, and his bachelor’s degree. from New York University. His title changed from dean to provost in March of 1974, and in 1976, he became vice-chancellor for academic affairs as well. In 1979, his title was changed from vice-chancellor and dean of academic affairs to provost and vice-chancellor of academic affairs. He retained this position until his retirement in 1990. It was the purpose of this position to run the day-to-day operations of the university, while the Chancellor focused his efforts on funding and construction issues that had become large and pressing. Arden was replaced in 1991 by biologist Robert Simpson.

Robert Simpson took office as only the second fully appointed chief academic officer of the campus in July of 1991. Prior to coming to Dearborn, he was the dean of the School of Science and Mathematics at William Paterson College in Wayne, N.J. He received a bachelor's degree in Zoology in 1965 and a master's degree in Biology (with honors) in 1967 from Fresno State College in Fresno, Calif., and a Ph.D. in Limnology from Cornell University in 1971. After three terms as Provost, Simpson decided to return to the classroom in 2006. Dr. Simpson spent 2006-2007 as Interim Provost at Flint’s Kettering University, and is on leave during 2007-2008. He was replaced by Dr. Susan Martin.

As chief academic officer at UM-Dearborn, Dr. Simpson was responsible for the programs in four academic units: College of Engineering and Computer Science; College of Arts, Sciences and Letters; School of Education and School of Management. His major goals were to enhance learning and program quality; support the growth and diversification of graduate programming; provide universal access to campus computing resources; work to connect faculty and academic programs to the community; expand funded research; and acquire funds for instructional program facilities [E.Higgs, Fac. Handbook].

During his tenure at UM-Dearborn, “the campus: doubled its graduate enrollment, created seven new undergraduate degrees and 19 new graduate degrees in response to student demand and community need, achieved AACSB and CASB initial accreditation and re-accreditation by ABET and the Higher Learning Commission, launched several distributive learning initiatives, including a bachelor of General Studies program; MEd in special education; web-MBA; and MSE in Automotive Systems Engineering and Software Engineering, created Provost Roundtables to highlight faculty teaching and research, created an Emerging Leaders Program to provide leadership opportunities to students enrolled in co-op and internship programs, positioned UM-Dearborn as a Project Kaleidoscope Core Institution as a result of a campus focus on science and mathematics reform, initiated Meeting of the Minds, an annual conference celebrating undergraduate research and bringing students together from UM-Dearborn, UM-Flint and Oakland University to present their research and creative work, created a Diversity Enhancement Grant program to strengthen ethnic and cultural awareness, worked with faculty to adopt a "teacher-scholar" model that emphasizes a balance between the classroom and research, adopted the Boyer model for research, increased full-time faculty (tenure track and lecturer) by 25 percent, focusing on enhancement of program quality and strategic program growth, increased funded research and curriculum development to $5 million annually, created a year-long new faculty orientation program, funded a Visiting King-Chavez-Parks Scholar program, worked closely with faculty to revise faculty governance and create a Faculty Senate, worked closely with the staff on the creation of a Staff Senate, worked closely with HR/AA to create a formal annual performance planning and appraisal for system staff, and played a major role in the acquisition of funding for construction of 360,000 square feet of new academic space. Patricia Mroczek [6/2006]


Susan W. Martin was the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan-Dearborn from July 2006 until July 2008.. She came to UM-Dearborn from an eighteen-year career at Grand Valley State University, where she served as Executive Associate Vice-President in the Office of the Provost.

Provost Martin has been appointed Chair of the State of Michigan Hospital Finance Authority by Governors Granholm, Engler, and Blanchard for five consecutive terms from 1989 to the present. Martin served as the ex-officio representative of Governor Granholm on the Temporary Oversight Committee for Detroit Medical Center during 2003-2004.  She also served as Michigan’s Commissioner of Revenue from 1985-88 in the Blanchard administration.  Martin was appointed by Governors Milliken and Blanchard to serve as Deputy State Treasurer for Local Government from 1981-1984.

At the Federal level, Martin was appointed to the Internal Revenue Service Commissioners Advisory Council from 2002-2004 and the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Council from 1998-2000. She has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, and a Ph.D. and M.B.A. from Michigan State University.  She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Certified Governmental Financial Manager and Certified Internal Auditor. [Provost’s homepage 08/07; press release 4/18/06]

Provost Martin was selected to be the first woman president of Eastern Michigan University beginning in July 2007. Professor Don Bord, Natural Sciences, was named the interim provost.

Dr. Catherine (Kate) Davy, Bentley University, became the next provost July 1, 2009. She is an experienced administrator and a specialist in feminist theatre, and has academic appointment in English and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Note Author: Mcnitt, Marilyn M.

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