Nancy Cantor chosen as U-M provost

July 8, 1997

ANN ARBOR—University of Michigan President Lee C. Bollinger has selected Nancy Cantor to be the University’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. He will submit his recommendation for approval of her appointment to the U-M Board of Regents at its July 17-18 meeting.

If approved, the appointment will be effective Sept. 1, 1997. Cantor currently serves as vice provost for academic affairs-graduate studies and dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at U-M. She is also a professor of psychology.

“Dean Cantor is not only a highly distinguished scholar and teacher, with impressive knowledge of the university world, but also a person widely admired for her character and capacity to work sensitively and effectively with many groups of people. That she bears deep affection for the University of Michigan is a special plus as well. The prospect of working with Nancy in the years ahead is as bright a future as I can imagine,” Bollinger said.

“Bernie Machen has won the hearts and the admiration of all of us in serving with such devotion and distinction as Provost during the past two years,” Bollinger added. “He has been particularly helpful in easing my transition into this office, for which I am deeply grateful. The University is in his debt.”

Bollinger appointed a faculty-student advisory committee last spring to conduct a search for a new provost of the University, following the announcement by Provost J. Bernard Machen that he intends to return to the faculty. Bollinger chaired the advisory committee.

Richard I. Ford, professor of anthropology and biology and a member of the faculty-student advisory committee, said, “I am delighted to learn that President Bollinger has selected Dean Cantor to be the next provost of the University. It has been my pleasure to work with Nancy many times over the years. She is extremely sensitive to the needs of others and she will undoubtedly carry this very personal aspect of her life to this position. Nancy is an internationally respected scholar in psychology whose work has led to many major appointments, including several commissions in Washington, D.C. Her outstanding knowledge of the various scientific agencies will be very useful as she works with faculty from all parts of the campus.”

Cantor, who received her Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in 1978 and her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in 1974, became assistant professor of psychology at Princeton and was promoted to associate professor in 1981.

In 1983, she came to the U-M as associate professor of psychology. She was area chairperson of personality psychology in 1984-88, was named professor in 1987, served as a research scientist in the Research Center for Group Dynamics in the Institute for Social Research in 1987-91, and was associate dean for faculty programs in the Rackham School of Graduate Studies in 1989-91. She left the U-M in 1991 to teach at Princeton, where she was chair of the Department of Psychology. 

Bollinger has asked Earl Lewis, senior associate dean at Rackham and professor of history and Afroamerican and African studies, to serve as interim dean.

“I am delighted that someone of Earl Lewis’ caliber can step in to fill the important role of dean of Rackham. He is a highly regarded scholar who will provide strong leadership during this important period. I have the greatest admiration for him both personally and professionally,” Bollinger said.

Details regarding a search for dean of the Rackham Graduate School will be forthcoming.


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