New provost Dr. Michael Harris

Jul 13, 2007

Kettering's new Provost and vice president for Academic Affairs brings both international and varied higher education experiences as a new era begins on campus.

New jobs offer new beginnings, and Dr. Michael Harris joins Kettering University with a particularly shiny start. The new Provost and vice president for Academic Affairs arrived on campus July 9 to take over the University's #2 leadership role. As Kettering's top academic officer, Harris is second in command on President Stan Liberty's leadership team.

"We welcome Dr. Harris to the University and look forward to a good year and the beginning of a new academic era on our campus," said President Liberty.

"I am delighted to be here and have arrived at a progressive time for Kettering," Harris said. "Kettering will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its name change on Jan. 1 and the University is beginning to focus on its Centennial celebration in 2019. What a wonderful starting point for me. I especially look forward to working with Stan, who is leading the University into a new age.

"Even in my first week I have already witnessed pieces of Kettering's new momentum," Harris said. "There are impressive and thoughtful efforts underway to improve student retention and enhance services for our talented students. I hear good things about faculty members who are developing a wider circle of corporate and community partners as the University focuses on new co-op jobs in business, aerospace and the bio-medical industry. I think that if we work together we can generate more research and grant opportunities, and strengthen Kettering's international options. That sure sounds like some productive and optimistic goals for the new guy," he added, laughing.

Harris said one of the first things that President Liberty gave him was a copy of Kettering's new mission and vision statements, and a detailed account of Kettering's goals statement and strategic plan. "Kettering is an exceptional institution with a unique mission," Harris said. "My academic experiences and leadership skills will blend well with Stan's to build on the school's well-known reputation."

Harris said he will approach the 2007-08 academic year with enthusiasm and balance. "I have worked in Michigan for a long time and I am experienced in the state's economic challenges," he said. "I know that not enough high school students are pursuing Science, Engineering and Technology career paths, but I also know that Kettering has many experienced and creative faculty members who have ideas to solve that problem. Mix in Kettering's dedicated staff and some of the best students in the country and you can see why I have reasons to be optimistic about our future. We will continue to work hard to maximize each student's potential for success and ensure an environment of academic excellence at Kettering," he added.

Harris comes to Kettering from Ferris State University, where he was the vice president for Academic Affairs. At Ferris, he was successful in strengthening the areas of academics, teaching, research, scholarship, retention, assessment and service. He increased online education, aided progress in assessment efforts and lead Ferris through several successful accreditations. He was the principal investigator for several grants, including $1 million from the Dow Foundation to construct new facilities.

Prior to Ferris, he served as associate provost at Eastern Michigan University, where he implemented programs to increase graduation rates and retention. He developed a comprehensive Program Review process and significantly enhanced student transfer. Two doctoral programs were established during his tenure.

Harris is active in the higher education community. He is a consultant-evaluator for the North Central Association and a certified appraiser for the Academic Quality Improvement Program. He participated in Harvard University's Institute for Educational Management Program (IEM) and is a graduate of Harvard's Management Development Program. He remains actively engaged in research on public policy and public administration.

He received a bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration from Bar Ilan University in Israel in 1982, a master's degree in Public Policy from Tel Aviv University in Israel in 1986, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Indiana University in 1993. Harris's areas of specialization include public policy and policy analysis, public management and administration, organizational theory, and government and public budgeting.

Harris replaces Kettering's Interim Provost Robert Simpson, who completed his one-year commitment and has returned to the faculty at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.