Provost & Senior Vice President of James Madison University (D.M.A.)

Dr. Heather Coltman is the Provost and Senior Vice President at James Madison University. As the institution's Chief Academic Officer, she directs the development and delivery of all academic programs at JMU while overseeing the division’s budget and personnel. The Division of Academic Affairs comprises JMU’s seven academic colleges that deliver more than 135 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral levels.

Since arriving at JMU in 2017, Dr. Coltman initiated a comprehensive Academic Affairs Strategic Plan. She increased collaboration and diversity on campus by establishing the division’s first Anti-Racist/Anti-Discrimination Agenda; lead the development of the university’s first campus climate study; and launched the campus’ first diversity-based cohort hire. Dr. Coltman works with faculty to maintain the institution’s strong commitment to excellence in teaching and scholarship, seen most recently in the reclassification of James Madison University as an R2 High Research Activity institution. Her efforts also resulted in the designation of JMU as an anchor institution, solidifying the vital role it plays in the local communities and economies.

A solo and collaborative concert pianist, she has performed, recorded, taught and lectured across five continents. Dr. Coltman made her performance debut in her native country of Zambia at the age of five, and she immigrated to the United States in 1966. She was a top prize-winner in numerous international piano competitions in the United States and Europe.

Dr. Coltman holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Texas, a Master of Music from the Mannes College of Music in New York and a Bachelor of Music from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Her principal teachers included Lita Guerra, David Bar-Illan, Claude Frank and Nadia Boulanger, and she has critically acclaimed recordings on Wisdom Recordings, Klavier Records, Innova Recordings, Heng Hao Records and Lyra Productions.

From 2011-17, she served as Dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University. After joining the faculty of FAU in 1993, she served as chair of the Department of Music as well as the Director of Keyboard Studies and the Artistic Director of the College Chamber Music Series. Dr. Coltman was also the founder of the TOPS piano camp, which has 3,000 alumni in its over 25 years of operation.

Dr. Coltman chairs the Colonial Academic Alliance (CAA) Provost’s Council and is a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and the American Council on Education. She participates with the NAFSA: Association of International Educators and in the P3 Higher Education Summit. Recent conferences have included presentations for the American Council on Education (ACE); the Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO); the American Association of University Women; and the Utu Conference at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi.

The mother of three sons, she is a lover of books, film, history, politics, travel, animals and the outdoors.

Piano Professors and Technicians

Lori Piltz

Lori Piitz
Professor, Piano Area Coordinator
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Oliver Scott
Instructor, Jazz Piano


Scott Zane Smith
Coordinator, Supervisor, Instructor
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John Veitch
Piano Technician
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