Case Western Reserve’s next provost and executive vice president will be Ben Vinson III, an accomplished historian of Latin America now serving as dean of George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts & Sciences.
“Ben Vinson III will bring an exemplary record of leadership, scholarship and far-sighted vision to his role as our next chief academic officer,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “His intellect, energy and powerful commitment to the mission of higher education make him well-suited to help our university realize even more of its extraordinary potential.”
A graduate of Dartmouth and Columbia universities, Vinson served on the faculties of Barnard College and Penn State before joining Johns Hopkins in 2006 as a professor of history and founding director of its Center for Africana Studies. He went on to serve as a vice dean for centers, interdisciplinary studies and graduate education before becoming dean at George Washington.
Under Vinson’s leadership, the college increased interdisciplinary initiatives, enhanced diversity, and substantially grew research efforts. He also led the integration of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design into Columbian College, collaborated with the dean of engineering to open a $275 million, 500,000-square-foot interdisciplinary science and engineering building, and initiated graduate degree programs in Data Science and Applied Economics. Vinson also secured two founding gifts for institutes focused on Hispanic leadership and religious freedom, and helped create a Global Bachelor’s Degree Program that included philanthropic support that he obtained.
“It has been a tremendous honor to work with so many outstanding faculty, staff and students at George Washington,” Vinson said. “We made exceptional progress together, and I hope to encourage even broader collaborations at Case Western Reserve. Every visit and conversation I had deepened my interest in the university, and I look forward to listening and learning still more from additional members of the campus community.”
Vinson will assume his duties as provost on July 2, succeeding W.A. “Bud” Baeslack III, who is returning to the engineering faculty after nearly a decade in the position.
“I want to thank Bud for his partnership in making Case Western Reserve a better institution for our faculty, staff and students,” President Snyder said. “His efforts—and those of his team—provide a solid base on which to grow existing strengths and seize emerging opportunities.”
President Snyder also expressed gratitude to the provost search committee, led by co-chairs Roy Ritzmann, a professor of biology, and Suzanne Rivera, vice president for research.
“Roy, Sue and the entire committee demonstrated strong commitment to identifying academic leaders for Case Western Reserve,” President Snyder said. “I thank each member for all of the time, thought and care they put into this process, as well as its remarkable result.”