Aerial photo of campus overlooking Tinkham Veale University Center, Kelvin Smith Library, Severance Hall and more

Ben Vinson III to become Howard University’s 18th president

President Kaler praises Vinson’s contributions; names Dean Joy K. Ward to serve as interim provost

Photo of Provost and Executive Vice President Ben Vinson III
Ben Vinson III

Case Western Reserve President Eric W. Kaler announced today that Provost Ben Vinson III will step down June 30 to lead Howard University, a nationally renowned historically Black institution in Washington, D.C.

“We congratulate Ben on this exceptional accomplishment,” Kaler said, “and thank him for his many contributions to our university—among them, the Think Big strategic plan, development of new undergraduate General Education Requirements and launch of North Star initiatives for faculty hiring and graduate student recruitment.”

Vinson joined Case Western Reserve in 2018 after serving five years as dean of George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. He previously held leadership positions at Johns Hopkins University, and served on the faculties of Pennsylvania State University and Barnard College.

Photo of Joy Ward

“I have treasured my time at Case Western Reserve,” Vinson said. “The people, the energy and the deep commitment to collaboration here all make this campus a uniquely special place to teach, learn and discover.”

With just two months before Vinson’s departure, President Kaler moved quickly to name an interim provost: College of Arts and Sciences Dean Joy K. Ward.

“Since arriving in the summer of 2020, Joy has led dramatic growth in the College’s research, fundraising and interdisciplinary collaboration,” Kaler said. “Her creativity, strategic mindset and emphasis on students’ experiences will ensure a transition that continues to build on our university’s increasing momentum.”

The university plans to launch a national search for Vinson’s successor before the start of the 2023-24 academic year, with a goal of completing the process by Dec. 31.

The president will consult with the College of Arts and Sciences’ Executive Committee as soon as possible regarding the selection of an interim dean.