The Big Ten Academic Alliance is governed by the Provosts of the member universities who act as a “board of the whole” to lead, guide, and fund the enterprise.

Big Ten Academic Alliance Provosts

  • Chair - Karen Hanson - University of Minnesota

    Karen HansonKaren Hanson became Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Minnesota in February 2012. She received her B.A. degree in philosophy and mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 1970 and Ph.D. and A.M. degrees in philosophy from Harvard in 1980.

    Dr. Hanson came to the University of Minnesota from Indiana University where she served as Provost and Executive Vice President since August 2007. Dr. Hanson was on the staff of Indiana University-Bloomington from 1976 to 2007, serving the Philosophy Department from 1976 to 2001 in the capacity of Lecturer, Assistant, Associate and Full Professor. She was also department chair from 1997 to 2002 and has been a Rudy Professor since 2001. In 2002, she was named Dean of the Hutton Honors College. She also was an adjunct professor of gender studies, American studies and comparative literature.

    Dr. Hanson's principal research interests are in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, ethics, aesthetics and American philosophy. She has published many articles and essays in these areas and is the author of The Self Imagined: Philosophical Reflections on the Social Character of Psyche (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986) and a co-editor of Romantic Revolutions: Criticism and Theory (Indiana University Press, 1990).

    She has served on the Executive Committee of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association, as chair of the Board of Officers of the APA, and APA delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies. She also has been an associate editor of Journal of Social Philosophy, a member of the editorial board of American Philosophical Quarterly and a trustee for the American Society for Aesthetics. Her current editorial board memberships include Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews and Cognitio. She is an officer of the board of the John Dewey Foundation and a member of both the advisory and the editorial boards of the Peirce Edition Project.

  • John Wilkin - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    John WilkinJohn Wilkin was named the Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Designate on February 18, 2017. He earned graduate degrees in English from the University of Virginia and in library science from the University of Tennessee, as well as a bachelor’s degree in literature from Antioch College.

    Currently, Wilkin is the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries, university librarian and a professor of library administration at the Urbana campus. Prior to assuming his current role in August 2013, Wilkin served in a number of library-related capacities at the University of Michigan over the course of two decades, most recently as the executive director of HathiTrust and the associate university librarian for publishing and technology. He also worked for two years at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

    Wilkin’s research focus is on large-scale digitization for preservation and access, digital libraries, legal issues related to digitized content, and library administration.

  • Lauren Robel - Indiana University

    Lauren Robel began serving as Provost and Executive Vice President of Indiana University-Bloomington in July, 2012. She is a graduate of Auburn University and Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

     Lauren Robel has been Dean of the Indiana University School of Law since 2003. Prior to her appointment as dean, she served as Acting and Associate Dean from 1991-2002. She also served as Assistant, Associate and Full Professor of Law at the Indiana University Law School from 1985-2002. Prior to those appointments, she was Law Clerk for the Honorable Jesse Eschbach and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1983-85.

    Robel has also been a visiting faculty member at Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), where she published a book, Les États des Noirs: Fédéralisme et question raciale aux États-unis, (Presses Universitaires de France, 2000), with Professor Elisabeth Zoller.

    Lauren Robel's research focuses on the federal courts. Her articles have appeared in numerous leading law journals. She is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from procedural reform to sovereign immunity and co-author of Federal Courts: Cases and Materials on Judicial Federalism and the Lawyering Process (LEXISNEXIS 2005), a casebook on federal jurisdiction written with Arthur Hellman.

    She is currently President of the American Association of Law Schools, where she has served as a member of its Executive Committee since 2006. She is also a member of the Rules Advisory Committee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

  • Sue Curry - University of Iowa

    Sue Curry

    Susan J. Curry began serving as Interim Executive Vice President and Provost in April, 2017. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and her master’s and Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire, all in the field of psychology.

    Dr. Curry has served as dean of the University of Iowa College of Public Health and as a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy since 2008. Prior to joining the College of Public Health, she served as professor of health policy and administration and director of the Institute for Health Research and Policy in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Earlier in her career, Curry was professor of health services in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington and senior investigator and director at the Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative. She also served as a scientist in the Cancer Prevention Research Unit at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

    Dr. Curry was appointed vice chair of the US Preventive Services Task Force in March 2016. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and is a member of their Board on Population Health and past Section IX chair. She is a member of the CDC’s Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Board of Directors. Curry’s past professional service activities include vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Truth Initiative (formerly the American Legacy Foundation) and member of the Board of Scientific Advisors for the National Cancer Institute. She is a fellow of both the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the American Psychological Association.

    Curry is recognized internationally for her expertise in behavioral science and translation of research findings into health policy. Her extensive research in chronic disease prevention and management includes studies of tobacco cessation, dietary change, modification of risky drinking patterns, and methods of increasing compliance with recommended cancer screening. Curry’s research also encompasses studies of the use and cost effectiveness of prevention treatments under different health insurance plans and health care costs and utilization associated with tobacco cessation.

    Curry is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Society for Preventive Oncology’s Joseph R. Cullen Memorial Award in 2000, the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Distinguished Scientist Award in 2001, and the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco’s John Slade Award in 2015.

  • Mary Ann Rankin - University of Maryland

    Mary Ann RankinMary Ann Rankin was named Senior Vice President and Provost of the University of Maryland in October 2012. She received her bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Louisiana State University, was a National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellow at the University of Iowa and Imperial College Field Station, Ascot, England, and earned a doctorate in physiology and behavior from the University of Iowa in 1972.

    She was a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University until joining The University of Texas at Austin in 1975 as an assistant professor of zoology. In 1986, she was promoted to professor. Dr. Rankin was chairman of the Division of Biological Sciences from 1989 until her appointment as dean of the College of Natural Sciences in 1994 to her departure in 2011.

    Dr. Rankin's research focuses on studies of the physiologic relationships governing the evolution of insect life history strategies. She is a member of the American Entomological Society, the Royal Entomological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Rankin is currently CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative in Dallas. She serves on several non-profit boards including the Austin Lyric Opera and the Southwest Institute (one of the nation's largest, non-profit R&D firms in engineering and space sciences) as well as the Advisory Committee for the Division of Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation.

  • Paul Courant – University of Michigan

    CourantPaulPaul N. Courant was appointed Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Michigan on February 1, 2017. He received a bachelor’s in history from Swarthmore College; a master’s in economics from Princeton University; and a doctorate in economics from Princeton University.

    His most recent positions at the University of Michigan include the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, the Harold T. Shapiro Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, a Professor of Economics, a Professor of Information, and a Faculty Associate in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. At other various times, Dr. Courant served as University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Associate Provost for Academic and Budgetary Affairs, Chair of the Department of Economics and Director of the Institute of Public Policy Studies (which is now the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy). He was also a Senior Staff Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers.

    Dr. Courant has authored half a dozen books and over seventy papers covering a broad range of topics in economics and public policy, including tax policy, local economic development, gender differences in pay, housing, radon and public health, relationships between economic growth and environmental policy, and university budgeting systems. More recently, he has been studying the economics of universities, the economics of libraries and archives, and the changes in the system of scholarly communication that derive from new information technologies.
  • June Youatt - Michigan State University

    YouattJune2015forWeb2June Youatt became Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of Michigan State University in April 2014. Prior to taking the helm as Provost in 2014, she served as Active Provost since December 2011. She received three degrees from Michigan State University, including a bachelor's degree in home economics education (1973), a master's degree (1976) in curriculum and instruction from the College of Education and a doctorate (1983).

     Dr. Youatt joined the MSU faculty in 1983. She has taught a wide range of courses in family community services, curriculum and evaluation, program design and evaluation, and adult education. She has been an active adviser of undergraduate and graduate students and has supervised the family and child ecology teaching certification program. She developed and taught the freshman seminar for first-year students in the College of Human Ecology and coordinated the college's annual matriculation ceremony. Her outstanding teaching skills have been recognized by the College of Human Ecology, the Michigan State Board of Education, the National Council on Family Relations and the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

     She has published extensively in the area of family life education. In 1996, she was part of a research team that won the Norbert F. Sherman Award from the National Restaurant Association for its work on school food service and nutrition education. From 1993 to 1997, she served as an extension specialist with MSU Extension, providing leadership to field staff in parenting education and developing programs for teaching parenting skills.

     As a project director for the Michigan Department of Education from 1988 to 1996, she supervised the development of high school and middle school curricula in family and consumer sciences. She has led program reviews in a number of Michigan public school districts. She has also served as president of the Michigan Home Economics Association and as a board member of the Michigan Council on Family Relations. From 1973 to 1980, she taught family and consumer sciences in the Bath Public Schools. Her continuing interest in K-12 education is reflected in her role of endowment chairperson for the Foundation for Haslett Schools.

  • Donde Plowman - University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Donde PlowmanDonde Plowman officially became Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer of Academic Affairs in January, 2017. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and her undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University.

    Prior to coming to Nebraska, Dr. Plowman was head of the Management Department at University of Tennessee. Previously, she was a member of the faculty and associate dean for Graduate Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio for nine years. She came to University of Nebraska’s College of Business Administration in 2010 as the ninth dean in the history of the school, was named the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of Business Administration and guided the college through a transitional period, which included joining the Big Ten Conference in 2011.

    In October 2016, the University of Nebraska Foundation awarded Dean Plowman the Harlan J. Noddle Award for Distinguished Development Service for her efforts in raising $150 million for the college, including more than $80 million for the new building. She was also instrumental in forming the Dr. Don O. Clifton Strengths Institute made possible by a $30 million gift from the Clifton family and the Gallup Organization.

    Her efforts to bolster CBA’s mission of molding the next generation of ethical business leaders for Nebraska and the world have shown immediate benefits with the initiation of many new programs. They include the CBA Honors Academy, Career Services at CBA, a certificate program in Sales Excellence, a new master’s program in intercollegiate athletics administration that partners with Husker Athletics, and a new Department of Business Analytics and Supply Chain Management. With the additional programs, enrollment has also increased the last six years by 22 percent, with a 14 percent increase in graduate students in the Fall 2016. Additionally, 50 new faculty members joined CBA under Dean Plowman’s tenure to support the increasing student population.

    A well-known scholar in the area of leadership and organizational change, Dean Plowman’s research was featured in The Wall Street Journal in April 2012. Her publications have appeared in the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organizational Science, Leadership Quarterly, Decision Sciences and several others. She was awarded one of the most highly coveted awards in her field – the Academy of Management Journal Best Paper award for her paper, “Radical Change Accidentally: The Emergence and Amplification of Small Change” in 2008.
  • Daniel I. Linzer - Northwestern University

    Daniel I. Linzer

    Daniel I. Linzer became Provost of Northwestern University in September 2007. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Linzer received his bachelor of science degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University in 1976 and a Ph.D. in biochemical sciences from Princeton University in 1980. He completed a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

    Linzer joined Northwestern in 1984 as an assistant professor, and is now a professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology. He has conducted pioneering research on the molecular basis of hormone action. Following four years as Associate Dean, Linzer was appointed Dean of Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 2002.

    Among the many awards he has received are the Searle Scholars Award, the American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, and the Northwestern Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award.

  • Bruce McPheron - Ohio State University

    McPheron,Bruce-for-webBruce A. McPheron was named Executive Vice President and Provost at The Ohio State University in June 2016. He earned his bachelor’s degree in entomology at Ohio State and a master's degree in biology and a doctorate in entomology at the University of Illinois.

    He joined The Ohio State University after serving for three and one-half years as Dean of Pennsylvania State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. He served as chair of the Policy Board of Directors of Agriculture for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. Currently, Dr. McPheron is a member of the Discovery Theme executive team and leads the university’s Food Production and Security theme. 

    Dr. McPheron’s research expertise focused on the use of genetic tools to examine population structure in pest insects. His molecular diagnostic methods for source identification of Mediterranean fruit fly developed in his laboratory have been adopted by USDA-APHIS and several state and international agencies. He has taught a wide range of classes in entomology and has traveled internationally sharing his expertise.

  • Nicholas P. Jones - Pennsylvania State University

    Jones2Nicholas P. Jones became the Executive Vice President and Provost of Pennsylvania State University on July 1, 2013. A native of New Zealand, he received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Auckland in 1980; he received master’s and doctoral degrees, also in civil engineering, from the California Institute of Technology in 1981 and 1986, respectively.

    Dr. Jones began his career as a member of the faculty in the Department of Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in 1986 and was appointed chair of the department in 1999. He accepted a position as professor and head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002, before returning to Johns Hopkins to take the role of dean in 2004. He was named the school’s inaugural Benjamin T. Rome Dean in 2008.

    He maintains professional associations with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Association for Wind Engineering, including service as president from 2009-2010. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards both for teaching and research, including Johns Hopkins’ George Owen (1987) and Robert Pond (1991) teaching awards, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award (1989); the ASCE’s Huber Research Prize (1997) and Robert H. Scanlan Medal (2007); and the JHU Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award (2007).

    Jones has served on a number of national committees, including ASCE’s National Infrastructure Policy Committee, the National Science Foundation’s blue-ribbon panel to review engineering research centers, and currently, the Public Policy Committee of the Engineering Deans Institute. From 1999 to 2004, he served as international editor of the Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics.

  • Debasish Dutta - Purdue University

    Dutta2Debasish Dutta became the Provost of Purdue University in July 2014.  He received his doctorate in industrial engineering from Purdue in 1989, his M.S. in engineering management from the University of Evansville, and his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Jadavpur University in Calcutta, India.

    Dr. Dutta came to Purdue University from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he served as an associate provost and dean of the Graduate College. He also held a named professorship in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering and was a professor of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering. Prior to his tenure at Illinois, he was on the faculty of the University of Michigan from 1989-2008.  He is presently a scholar-in-residence at the National Academy of Engineering, where he currently leads a national study about education for innovation.

    Dr. Dutta also served at the National Science Foundation on educational initiatives and workforce development in science and technology, and he represented Illinois in the 2010 Education Leaders Institute of the National Endowment for the Arts. He has published extensively in the area of computer-aided design and manufacturing and currently focuses on interoperability issues in product lifecycle management. 


  • Richard L. Edwards - Rutgers University

    Richard EdwardsRichard Edwards is Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer of Rutgers University–New Brunswick. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in Illinois. He received his master’s degree from the University of Chicago and a doctorate from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the State University of New York at Albany.

    Dr. Edwards has held deanships at Case Western Reserve University, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a past president of the National Association of Social Workers and has written extensively and consulted internationally on the teaching and practice of social work.

    As a scholar, Edwards has studied the management and organizational effectiveness of public-sector and nonprofit organizations. He has been a visiting professor at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania, and Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, and served as a consultant for the Soros Foundations Open Society Institute on the development of gerontology education for professionals in 18 central and eastern European countries.

    Edwards is the author of numerous articles and book chapters and served as editor-in-chief of the 19th edition of the Encyclopedia of Social Work, published in 1996. He is associate editor for North America for Social Work Education: An International Journal. He has been honored as a distinguished alumnus by the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the State University of New York at Albany.

  • Sarah C. Mangelsdorf - University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Sarah C. Mangelsdorf was named Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in August 2014.  She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Oberlin College and her doctorate in child psychology from the University of Minnesota.

    Dr. Mangelsdorf spent four years on the faculty at the University of Michigan. She then joined the psychology department faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There, she acted as Associate Provost, Head of the Psychology Department, and finally as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  In August 2008, Sarah Mangelsdorf became Dean of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University and served as a professor in the department of psychology.
    Dr. Mangelsdorf’s research concentrates on social and emotional development, attachment and temperament in infants and young children as well as family systems. She has authored numerous articles in the field and has served on the editorial boards of five academic journals. She was the recipient of teaching wards such as the Mabel Hohenboken Teaching Award and the William Prokasy Teaching Award, while continuing to mentor graduate students in psychology.