Office of the Provost - Wayne State University

Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the 2016-17 academic year! As Wayne State’s new provost, I am excited to begin our first year together, and I want to thank the many who gave me a warm and supportive welcome. I want to extend that same enthusiastic welcome to the 53 new faculty members who join our ranks this fall. Our schools and colleges recruited a strong group of new faculty, and we hope their careers at Wayne State are long and productive.

Many of you may know that I most recently came to Wayne State from Duke University, where I was vice provost for academic affairs and a professor of psychology and neuroscience. I may miss the mild North Carolina winters come January, but I have found the Wayne State community and campus energizing. This is a compelling time for both Wayne State and the city of Detroit, and while we face real challenges, we also have incredible opportunities as we write the next chapter of this institution, city and region.

To launch the new year, I want to share my priorities going forward. My focus is on six areas: student success, faculty success, general education reform, academic quality, big data, and innovation and entrepreneurship. Each of these initiatives is in line with the vision of our strategic plan, which calls on Wayne State to become a pre-eminent, public, urban research university. 

Please look for an email from me in the weeks ahead outlining my goals across these key areas. Feel free to respond and share your ideas at

I look forward to meeting and working with you.


Keith E. Whitfield