Three State Universities Have Selected Women to Be Their Next Provost

Karen Moranski was named provost and vice president of academic affairs at Sonoma State University in California. She served as interim provost since July 1, 2020.

A scholar of medieval literature, Dr. Moranski came to Sonoma State in 2016 from the University of Illinois Springfield. Serving as director of strategic enrollment at Sonoma State, she presided over a significant overhaul of processes and organizational structure to address the university’s strategic enrollment goals.

Dr. Moranski grew up in Texas and Louisiana. She is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans, where she majored in English and history. Dr. Moranski received a  master’s degree and a Ph.D. in medieval English literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Francine Conway will be chancellor-provost of the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey. This new position combines elements of the chancellor’s portfolio with those of the provost’s to establish a clear focus on academic excellence for students and faculty.

A native of Guyana, Dr. Conway previously served as dean of the Graduate School of Applied Psychology. She was the first Black scholar to hold that position. Dr. Conway joined the faculty at Rutgers in 2016. From 2008 to 2016, she was chair of the psychology program at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. Her research is focused on the psychology of aging and on child psychopathology.

Dr. Conway is a graduate of Cornell University. She earned a master’s degree at Columbia University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Adelphi University.

Melissa L. Gilliam has been appointed executive vice president and provost at Ohio State University, effective August 1. She will be the first African American woman to serve as provost at the university. She has been serving as vice provost, the Ellen H. Block Distinguished Service Professor of Health Justice, and professor of obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics at the University of Chicago. In the past, she has also served as dean of diversity and inclusion for the Biological Sciences Division at University of Chicago Medicine. Since 2012, she has been the founding director of the school’s Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health.

“The opportunity to work closely with President Johnson and one of the most respected and academically robust academic communities in the world is a dream come true,” Dr. Gilliam said. “I look forward to engaging with the entire Ohio State community, especially the outstanding faculty, staff, students, and partners that drive our academic mission.”

Dr. Gilliam holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Yale University, She earned a master’s degree in philosophy and politics at the University of Oxford in England and a medical doctorate at Harvard University. She also holds a master of public health degree from the University of Illinois Chicago.

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