Dean of Michigan Engineering Alec D. Gallimore named Duke's next provost

Courtesy of the University of Michigan
Courtesy of the University of Michigan

Alec D. Gallimore, the current Robert J. Vlasic dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, will be Duke’s next provost and chief academic officer, according to a Friday announcement from President Vincent Price. 

As provost, Gallimore will develop the University’s teaching and research mission. He will oversee Duke's 10 schools and six institutes, including admissions, financial aid, libraries and other facets of academic and student life.

Gallimore, who will replace interim Provost Jennifer Francis and former Provost Sally Kornbluth after she became president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology earlier this year, will begin his term at Duke on July 1. 

“I am thrilled to welcome Alec Gallimore to Duke,” Price wrote in a release. “Throughout his career as a scholar and academic leader, Alec has sought to make higher education more engaged, inclusive, and innovative, and he has demonstrated the vision and commitment to lead our academic enterprise to an even brighter future. We are very fortunate to have him join the Duke community at this important moment.”

Gallimore has led Michigan’s College of Engineering since 2016 and is an aerospace engineer and applied physicist. As dean, Gallimore implemented a people-first engineering approach, which promotes a more diverse community of students, staff and faculty and “better reflects the societal context and needs of the people their discoveries reach.” Under his leadership, the school also launched an Office of Culture, Community, and Equity and the Teaching Engineering Equity Center. 

Described by Price as “a campus-wide leader with a capacious embrace of scholarship and teaching across disciplines and intellectual traditions,” Gallimore has also served as associate dean for research, associate dean for academic affairs and associate dean of Michigan’s Rackham School of Graduate Studies. 

“I am honored to have been asked to serve Duke University as provost,” Gallimore said in a release. “I look forward to working with President Price and our entire community of students, faculty, staff and alumni to cultivate collaboration and respect, fostering a more inclusive and equitable campus and world. Together, we can address the great challenges of our day, partnering with purpose to advance humankind, serve our communities and make a lasting, positive impact on the world.”

Gallimore also founded Michigan’s Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory in 1992 and currently directs it. He and his team have “made transformational contributions in the fields of space propulsion, plasma physics, and advanced probe-based, microwave and laser diagnostics,” according to the announcement. 

He has received multiple awards, including the Stuhlinger Medal, the highest honor in the field of electric propulsion, and the Wyld Propulsion Award from the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics. In 2019, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional distinctions granted to an engineer.

He received his Bachelors of Science in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his master's and doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering with a focus on plasma physics from Princeton University.

Gallimore was selected after a national search conducted by a committee of faculty, students, trustees and administrators. The committee was chaired by Amy Herring, Sara & Charles Ayres distinguished professor of statistical science, global health, and biostatistics and bioinformatics.

Milla Surjadi profile
Milla Surjadi | Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator

Milla Surjadi is a Trinity junior and a diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator of The Chronicle's 119th volume. She was previously editor-in-chief for Volume 118.


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