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Northern Arizona Dean Appointed USM Provost

Michael R. Stevenson, Ph.D., dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Northern Arizona University (NAU), has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Southern Maine (USM).

Stevenson, one of 93 applicants for the position, will join USM on Monday, July 2. He replaces John R. Wright, who is retiring at the end of June after a more than 40-year career in education, including the last 12 as USM dean and then provost. 

“I am eager to join the University of Southern Maine community,” said Stevenson, “and am confident that my experiences at all levels of academic life will serve to support USM’s students, faculty and the advancement of USM as the intellectual hub of southern Maine and the state as a whole.” 

“Dr. Stevenson brings a distinguished record of scholarly achievement,” said USM President Selma Botman, “and a well-earned reputation as an administrator with exceptional communication, advocacy and mediation skills.  We are fortunate to have him.”    

As dean at Northern Arizona University, an institution of more than 25,000 students, Stevenson managed a college of 150 full-time faculty in 11 academic departments and three research and service units. He facilitated an $8 million campaign for the design and construction of the university’s Native American Cultural Center.    

Prior to joining Northern Arizona University in 2007, Stevenson served as Miami University’s associate provost and as the institution’s first chief diversity officer.  He also held appointments at Ball State University as chair of the Department of Psychological Science and founding director of the university’s Diversity Policy Institute.

Stevenson was named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow and was assigned to the Chancellor’s Office at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. In that role, he addressed trends in higher education related to such issues as student retention, assessing student outcomes, faculty governance and diversity initiatives. As an American Psychological Association Senior Congressional Fellow, Stevenson was advisor to Senator Paul Simon (D-IL) on such issues as affirmative action, discrimination, health, and human development. 

The founding editor of The Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, he has written, lectured and consulted widely on the role of diversity in improving access and student outcomes in publically funded institutions. Stevenson, who earned a master’s and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Purdue University, received a teaching award from the American Psychological Association and was named a Fulbright Senior Scholar.


Dr. Michael R. Stevenson

USM’s new provost, Dr. Michael R. Stevenson