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We are an inclusive academic community committed to excellence in the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge.  We advance intellectual and creative discovery through transformative learning experiences that positively impact our lives and communities. 

Heather Coltman 2020
Dr. Heather Coltman
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

A Message from the Provost

Dear Colleagues,

As I finish this email, JMU Giving Day is wrapping up. Our friends in Advancement asked us to give like a Duke this year, and the JMU community came through: As of this morning,  Academic Affairs has raised $306, 638 from over 1,500 donors. I’m grateful to each and every single person who supported our division in this campaign, and as always, I remain grateful for each of you and the countless ways you contribute to our student learning and research. Your unflagging commitment to our students and scholarship is why contributors continue to support JMU’s academic mission. In that spirit, here’s a sampling of some of your colleagues’ projects:

  • The SoTL Collaboratory, a multi-institutional team that includes Dayna Henry from the Center for Faculty Innovation, has been awarded a SCHEV Fund for Excellence and Innovation (FFEI) Grant for their project entitled “Preparing Students and Educators for Ethical AI Integration in Higher Education.” This large-scale project will fund eight AI-related research projects currently being conducted across seven Virginia institutions. The results will be used to develop an asynchronous repository of materials for AI-infused teaching and learning, along with faculty development workshops on ethical AI culture, curriculum design for the AI era and AI-powered workforce development. Subscribe to the CFI digest for future announcements.
  • We recently received a letter of thanks from Assistant Secretary of State Julieta Valls Noyes for JMU’s leadership as an inaugural participant in Welcome Corps on Campus, a private sponsorship initiative for refugee students. The program is part of a new State Department policy offering pathways for refugee resettlement, which includes the option to admit qualified students and support their resettlement as new Americans. Thanks to the efforts of JMU’s private sponsor group, which includes Daniel Beers (Justice Studies), Holmes Browne (Residence Life), Kim Davidson (Community Engagement and Volunteer Center), Lisa Porter (Sociology) and Christie Kilby (Philosophy and Religion), in close collaboration with Delores Phillips (AAAD) and JY Zhou (CGE), JMU will welcome two students from Kenya in the fall.
  • If you’re a fan of Shark Tank, you may be surprised to find this out: When serial entrepreneurs get involved with venture capitalists, IPO values decrease. College of Business Associate Dean and Professor of Business Management Scott Gallagher and Professor of Business Management Fariss Mousa made this discovery, featured in the latest volume of the International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, which you can read here. Their use of multiple agency theory (MAT) really helps the reader better understand how different parties, though all invested in a startup’s success, can have wildly different incentives that impact their engagement with the entrepreneurial process.
  • Ben Shahn’s: On Nonconformity, currently exhibited at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid and curated by Professor of Art History Laura Katzman, continues to garner press from industry media outlets and attract important visitors. Laura writes that a highlight has been a “VIP tour for 13 female ambassadors to Spain, including the U.S. ambassador, Julia Reynoso. It was planned on Martin Luther King Day, and it was very moving to be standing in front of Shahn’s images of MLK and other civil rights activists with the U.S. ambassador, the first Black person and the first woman to be selected for her position (born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York).” 

Please keep submitting accomplishments by you and your colleagues, as well as comments and inquiries. You can email or submit a question anonymously through the Ask the Provost option online.  



Question for the Provost?

Academic Affairs faculty and staff can use these feedback features to contact the provost directly about operation of the division.

This is an open line of communication that allows faculty and staff to express their questions, but it is not a substitute from the crucial interactions you have with your academic unit head, department head and dean.

Students should contact with questions.

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