News Release

U of M announces new Executive Vice President and Provost

Rachel Croson
Photo credit: Michigan State University

University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel announced Wednesday that Rachel Croson, Ph.D., has been named the University’s next executive vice president and provost. Her appointment requires approval by the Board of Regents, which is expected to take action at its December meeting. Pending Board approval, Croson will join the University on March 30, 2020.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Croson to our University. She is an accomplished academic leader who brings to this important role an extraordinary breadth of talent, experience and strategic acumen. I’m excited that she will be joining the University’s senior leadership team,” Gabel said. 

Croson comes to Minnesota from Michigan State University, where she has served as dean of the College of Social Science since 2016. She is also a Michigan State University Foundation Professor of Economics. While dean at Michigan State, she ran a participatory strategic planning process, the implementation of which led to significant increases in faculty research and grants, student placement and diversity, equity and inclusion. She currently serves on the Association of American Universities Advisory Board on Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination. She has also served as Dean of the School of Business at the University of Texas at Arlington, professor and director of the Negotiations Center at the University of Texas at Dallas, and associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Croson completed her undergraduate work in economics and philosophy with a minor in political science at the University of Pennsylvania before receiving her master’s degree and doctorate in economics from Harvard. 

“I am honored to be chosen and am excited to serve in this role,” Croson said. “I look forward to working with President Gabel, the Board of Regents, vice presidents, deans and other academic leaders, but especially the faculty and students across the University’s system. I am especially grateful for the outstanding work that Provost Karen Hanson has done on behalf of the University. I look forward to learning from her as I transition.”

Croson will serve as chief academic officer for the University’s five-campus system. She will have systemwide oversight responsibility for undergraduate, graduate and professional education; faculty development, promotion and tenure, and academic and research programs and policies. As provost on the Twin Cities campus, Croson will provide oversight to the colleges, schools and academic units on the Twin Cities campus, working closely with senior leadership throughout the University to advance its mission and student success.  

Today’s announcement effectively concludes a rigorous and comprehensive national search for a new executive vice president and provost, Gabel’s first leadership team hire since taking office in July. The search evaluated dozens of candidates and ultimately brought four finalists to the Twin Cities campus for public forums and interviews.

“I would like to thank the search committee for their work to yield such a tremendous pool of candidates, as well as to the many members of the University community who participated during the search process,” Gabel said. “Your feedback and collective contributions have been invaluable.”

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