BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - On a historic day in the Southeastern Conference, the SEC Provosts group welcomed its first permanent and first interim African American members, William F. Tate IV from the University of South Carolina and Charles F. Robinson II from the University of Arkansas, respectively.
Dr. Tate was named Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost in March, and Dr. Robinson was named Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs in May. Both officially assumed their positions on July 1.
"Dr. Tate and Dr. Robinson are highly accomplished professors and higher education administrators who bring much needed and welcomed perspectives to the SEC Provosts group," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. "Their experiences - coupled with those of the other men and women from a variety of backgrounds currently serving as provosts - will be invaluable as we work together to build racial equality, respect and justice in our society."
Formerly dean of the graduate school and vice provost for graduate education at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Tate's background combines epidemiological research and sociological studies of education and health. While at Washington University, he held academic and research appointments in African and African American studies, American culture studies, Center for Applied Statistics and Computation, Institute for Public Health, social policy, urban studies and education.
"I'm eager to work with my colleagues in the SEC," Dr. Tate said. "In particular, I look forward to collaborating with the SEC Provost community in an effort to advance our collective academic reputation and to support the efforts of students and faculty colleagues."
Dr. Robinson was appointed vice chancellor for student affairs at Arkansas in 2016, and he served as vice provost for diversity affairs within the division of academic affairs before being named vice chancellor for diversity affairs in 2013. He joined the Arkansas faculty in 1999, achieved the rank of full professor of history and served as director of the African American Studies program.
"The University of Arkansas has been a wonderful place for me to grow and develop as a higher education professional, and I look forward to better supporting our incredible students, staff and faculty," Dr. Robinson said. "I am truly honored to serve our campus community in this very important role."
In addition to Dr. Tate and Dr. Robinson, other underrepresented minorities within the SEC Provosts group include Dr. S. Jack Hu from the University of Georgia and Dr. Latha Ramchand from the University of Missouri.
The SEC Provosts are administrators of the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program, the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards, and the SEC Faculty Travel Program, among other Conference activities. They recently completed their annual June meeting and are scheduled to conduct regular virtual meetings throughout the summer and fall.