Two African American Women Named to Provost Positions at Midwestern Universities

LaTonia Collins Smith was appointed provost and vice president of academic affairs at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Missouri. She has been serving as interim provost for the past year.

Dr. Collins Smith began her career in higher education at Harris-Stowe State University in 2010 as an academic counselor. She has served as executive director of the Center for Career Engagement and was assistant provost from 2016 to 2019. She is credited with rebranding of the university’s career services and academic advising departments, university-wide math pathway implementation and oversight of more than $5.2 million in grant awards. Dr. Collins Smith is the co-principal investigator of a $5 million National Science Foundation grant to substantially strengthen STEM in the state of Missouri, the largest grant in the history of the university.

Dr. Collins Smith is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri, where she majored in social work. She holds a master of social work degree and a master of public health degree from Saint Louis University. She earned an educational doctorate in higher education leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis.

Susan M. Collins was appointed provost at the University of Michigan. She has been serving as interim provost since March.

“I’m honored to be part of the team that will lead the university as we navigate the uncertainties that the pandemic has brought to the world,” Dr. Collins said. “Higher education has a critical role to play in addressing these challenges. I look forward to working with U-M’s faculty, students and staff in developing responses that will strengthen our society and enrich our shared future.”

Dr. Collins is the Edward M. Gramlich Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, professor of economics, and former dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Before coming to the University of Michigan, she was on the economics faculty at Georgetown and Harvard universities.

Professor Collins earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and her doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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