Dr. Michael Harris - Commencement Speaker

Jun 4, 2010

Dr. Michael Harris, Kettering University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs - Commencement Speaker

Dr. Michael Harris
Kettering University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Commencement Speaker
A Fond Farewell

Dr. Michael Harris, Kettering University's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, is currently in the closing weeks of his tenure at Kettering University.  He will become the Chancellor at Indiana University - Kokomo on July 1, leaving Kettering after three years of service. 

Dr. Harris has been Kettering’s chief ranking academic officer since July 2007.  He has been responsible for all aspects of the academic mission of the university, including oversight of academic budgets, the appointment of faculty and all academic and curricular matters. In addition, he had responsibility for student affairs which includes student’s co - curricular activities and services, residence halls and Greek life.  

Dr. Harris championed a number of important initiatives on Kettering’s campus – one so international in scope it attracted a king.  Dr. Harris led a collaborative effort between Kettering, Swedish Biogas International, the City of Flint, the State of Michigan and the Swedish government to develop the state's first Center of Energy Excellence.  Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm applauded and supported the effort, awarding $1 million in U.S. Department of Energy funds.  His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, officiated at the groundbreaking ceremonies hosted on campus in 2008.

He initiated the development and implementation of a significant number of new academic programs such as: Chemical Engineering, Pre-Med, Aerospace, Alternative Energy, Bioinformatics, BBA and others. He led several curricular reforms such as in Computer Science. During his tenure Kettering made significant progress in student retention.  In addition he oversaw three successful accreditation processes.

Dr. Harris led the development of strategies to increase enrollment for graduate programs, international undergraduate admissions, study abroad programs and international delegation partnerships and professional development. Dr. Harris was successful leading a university initiative to significantly increase research grants.

Dr. Harris developed Kettering’s cutting-edge program Entrepreneurship Across the Curriculum. This is an initiative that changes how innovation is taught in an academic environment. Working with the Kern Family Foundation, Kettering has become a national leader in enhancing an entrepreneurship mindset in students. In support and recognition of this approach, Kettering has received almost $2 million in grant support and has been the recipient of a national "Best In Class" Award from the foundation.

He helped guide Kettering to four national rankings in the 2009 and 2010 editions of America's Best Colleges, published by U.S. News & World Report.  Kettering's category is undergraduate engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's degree.  Kettering is currently ranked No. 1 in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and No. 2 in Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Harris specializes in public policy and political economy and has published four books, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in State and Local Government (edited with Rhonda Kinney), Term Limits (co-authored with Gideon Doron) and Public Policy and Electoral Reform: The Case of Israel.  His fourth book, Leading the Learner-Centered Campus (co-authored with R. Cullen), was just released.

He has published in a variety of journals, such as The International Journal of Public Administration, Government and Policy, Nonprofit Quarterly, Utopian Studies, Israel Affairs, Israel Studies, Academic Leader, Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education and Innovative Higher Education, as well as published chapters in several edited volumes. He serves as a political commentator to a variety of broadcast and print media in the United States and Israel (including NPR, Fox, Voice of Israel).

Recognition of his teaching, research and service include the following honors: Honorary Doctorate in Educational Administration from Ave Maria College, Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching from Eastern Michigan University, Teaching Excellence Award from EMU's Alumni Association, recognition for Excellence in Teaching from the American Political Science Association and the Michigan Association of Governing Boards Distinguished Faculty Award. Inducted, Pi Tau Sigma. The International Mechanical Engineering Honor Society. Faculty Member of the Yea - Greek Life Organization. 2007-2008.

Dr. Harris earned a bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration from Bar-Ilan University in Israel in 1982 and a master's degree in Public Management and Budgeting from Tel Aviv University in Israel in 1986. He earned his Ph.D. in Public Policy from Indiana University in 1993. He is a retired Major of the I.D.F. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Institute for Educational Management and the Management Development Program.

Dr. Harris and his wife, Tali, have three sons.