Provost and deans

UA's Senior Vice President, Provost and Chief Operating Officer

Dr. William M. “Mike” Sherman

Dr. William M. “Mike” Sherman

Dr. William M. “Mike” Sherman is UA’s senior vice president, provost and chief operating officer. As UA’s top academic officer, Sherman has oversight of academic planning and budgeting, curriculum development, enrollment and retention initiatives, assessment, student affairs and information technology services.

Sherman joined UA in 2010, having arrived from The Ohio State University, where he served as vice provost for academic planning and professor of sport and exercise science.

At Ohio State, Sherman led strategic planning for OSU’s colleges, with a primary focus on academic facilities and resources. He helped launch OSU’s academic facilities planning initiative, and he helped set the stage for implementing the university’s global agenda. Sherman held reporting responsibilities for four regional campuses, University Libraries, the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, and the P-12 Project, among others. Read more about Sherman.


Dr. Eric J. Amis
Dean, College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering
Vice Provost for Research

Dr. Eric J. Amis was appointed in June 2014 as dean of The University of Akron’s world-renowned College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. In 2015, he was appointed vice provost for research.

As dean, Amis oversees a program that is the largest and broadest in the U.S. The college is organized for teaching and research at the graduate level, granting the M.S. and Ph.D. in either polymer science or polymer engineering. In addition to the Department of Polymer Science and Department of Polymer Engineering, there is the Institute of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. The institute oversees the facilities, instrumentation and support staff and generally provides a research focus for the department faculty and graduate students.

Before UA, Amis was director of physical sciences at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC). He led a team of 140 scientists and engineers responsible for research and development in advanced manufacturing, materials science, chemistry, chemical engineering, structural integrity, applied physics and measurement science. His responsibilities included developing external partnerships aligned with UTRC strategies. More.

Susan G. Clark
Interim Dean, College of Education
Professor of Education
Juris Doctor

Susan G. Clark, Ph.D., J.D., began an appointment as interim dean of the College of Education in 2013. As a professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership she has taught school law, disability law, and other leadership and management courses for practicing and prospective school leaders.

Clark earned a law degree at UA's McDowell School of Law, a Ph.D. in Educational Administration at Kent State University, a master's degree in educational administration and instructional services at Xavier University, and a bachelor's degree at Miami University.

A frequent speaker at local, state, national and international conferences, she also has provided many school and staff in-services for public school districts, educational service centers and for career centers. Clark also hosts a yearly Women Leaders Conference on campus through the College of Education Office of Outreach and Professional Learning. She is a member of the Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys as well as the Ohio State, Akron and Cleveland Bar Associations and is licensed to practice in all state courts in Ohio and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. In addition, she is the past president of the Education Law Association, an international organization serving as the premier source of information on education law, and has served on its board of directors since 2007. More.

Mario R. Garzia, Ph.D.  
Interim Dean, College of Engineering
Executive Director of the Center for Data Science, Analytics and Information Technology
Executive in Residence

Dr. Mario R. Garzia joined his alma mater in June 2015 as the executive director of the newly established Center for Data Science, Analytics and Information Technology, and an Executive in Residence. On Sept. 15, he assumed the additional title of interim dean of the College of Engineering.

The University of Akron College of Engineering is the fourth fastest-growing engineering college in the U.S. It offers eight undergraduate programs as well as master's and doctoral degree programs. Student engineers also gain experential learning through the college's cooperative education program and design teams.

The new Center for Data Science, Analytics and Information Technology will be interdisciplinary, bringing together faculty across colleges — from statistics, business technology, graphic design, computer science, engineering and others — to ease the process of matching employers with UA students who are skilled in big data, predictive analytics and other emerging fields.

Garzia, a former Microsoft partner, drove the development of the Microsoft Data Sciences discipline and built the data mining effort for Bing. He earned a B.S. and M.S. in mathematics at The University of Akron and a Ph.D. in Mathematical Systems Theory at Case Western Reserve University, where he was commended by the dean of graduate studies for his excellent academic record. More about Dr. Garzia.

John C. Green, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, College of Buchtel Arts and Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Political Science
Director, Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics

John C. Green was appointed interim dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences on Oct. 14, 2015, by the Board of Trustees. The college is the largest and most diverse of UA’s degree-granting colleges with 22 departments and several institutes, centers and programs. has served in a variety of roles since joining.

Green, who joined The University of Akron in 1987, is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, and is best known for his work on religion and politics.

He is co-author of “The Bully Pulpit: The Politics of Protestant Clergy;” “Religion and the Culture Wars: Dispatches From the Front,” and “The Diminishing Divide: Religion’s Changing Role in American Politics.” In addition, he is co-editor of “The State of the Parties,” now in its 5th edition; “Multiparty Politics in America, and Financing the 1996 Election.”

As director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, a bipartisan research and teaching institute dedicated to the nuts and bolts of practical politics, Green is widely known as an observer of Ohio and national politics. He is frequently quoted in the national and state media.

Green earned a B.A. at the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1983.

Dr. David Gordon
Dean, College of Health Professions

Dr. David Gordon joined The University of Akron in October 2014 as the inaugural dean of the new College of Health Professions.

Most recently, Gordon was dean of the School of Health Professions and Studies at the University of Michigan-Flint. Gordon had been associated with the University of Michigan since 1991, having served most recently as associate dean for diversity and career development and professor of pathology at the university's medical school.

Gordon earned a bachelor's in chemistry from Amherst College and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. At Harvard, he completed a vascular biology research fellowship. He also completed an internal medicine internship at the University of Massachusetts, before training in anatomic pathology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Gordon was on the faculty at the University of Washington and worked as a human diagnostic and experimental cardiovascular pathologist.

The College of Health Professions is home to the School of Nursing, School of Social Work, School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, School of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Counseling, School of Sport Science and Wellness Education, and the School of Allied Health Technology. More.

Dr. Ravi Krovi
Dean, College of Business Administration
Professor of Management and Information Systems 

Dr. Ravi Krovi, who joined The University of Akron's College of Business Administration in 1999, was appointed dean of the college on Dec. 15, 2010, after serving as interim dean since July 1, 2009.

Krovi oversees a college that offers undergraduate degree programs in accounting, e-marketing and advertising, finance, management, marketing, sales and international business. The CBA’s graduate program is “a best business school” and “one of the best MBA programs in the world,” according to the 2009 edition of The Princeton Review's Best 296 Business Schools.

Krovi's distinguished record of service to the University includes holding positions as chair of the Department of Management from 2005-2009 and director of the Center for Information Technologies and eBusiness from 2003-2005. Krovi also played a significant role in the college's reaccreditation efforts.

A native of India, Krovi earned a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Baroda in India in 1986. He then went on to earn both an M.S. in Mathematical Sciences (Computer Science and Statistics) and a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems at Memphis State University, in 1988 and 1993, respectively. More.

Dr. Chand K. Midha
Executive Dean,
Graduate School
Vice provost/executive dean-liaison to Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences
Liaison to the Northeast Ohio Medical University
Trustees Professor

Dr. Chand MidhaDr. Chand Midha was appointed executive dean of the Graduate School by The University of Akron Board of Trustees in October 2015. He previously served as executive dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences.

Midha’s distinguished record of service includes being the founding chair of the Department of Statistics. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.

He joined UA in 1983 after service as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Florida, Gainsville. He rose through the ranks in UA’s Department of Mathematical Sciences from assistant professor to become director of the Center for Statistical Consulting in 1992. In 1996, he became a full professor.

Midha earned an M.S. and PG Diploma in agricultural studies at the Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, and a Ph.D. in Statistics at Iowa State University.

Phyllis G. O'Connor 
Interim Dean, University Libraries
Professor of Bibliography

In her role as interim dean of University Libraries, Phyllis G. O'Connor oversees three libraries that support the learning and research needs of faculty and students at the Akron campus and the Medina County University Center. The libraries provide print and media resources on-site and access to more than 300 electronic databases, thousands of full text electronic journals, e-books, and other online resources that can be accessed either on campus or remotely 24/7.

O'Connor joined University Libraries in 1978 as a full-time staff member in the Circulation Department of Bierce Library. She has worked in the Dean's Office since 1989, where she facilitated the implementation of two online library systems and the electronic document delivery system. As associate dean since 2008, she has led the management of human resources, budgets, physical facilities and service operations. In addition, O'Connor served as the project manager for the recent Bierce Library Renovation and Learning Commons project.

She is considered one of the founders of OhioLINK, having led the committee that designed the statewide borrowing system. She continues to lead resource-sharing initiatives for OhioLINK and recently served two years as the statewide coordinator of Ohio's regional book depository system.

O'Connor earned a B.A. in English at The University of Akron and an MLS in Library Science at Kent State University.

Lakeesha K. Ransom
Vice Provost and Dean, Honors College

Lakeesha K. Ransom, Ph.D., who was named vice provost and dean of the Honors College in June 2015, brings 20 years of leadership experience in educational, governmental, nonprofit and corporate entities to her role at UA.

Ransom comes to Akron from the University of Toledo, where she was the chief academic and administrative officer and founding dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College. She is highly experienced in developing innovative learning initiatives and problem-solving strategies, along with entrepreneurship programs.

At the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Ransom earned a Ph.D. in human resource development and strategic management and an M.A. in comparative and international development education. She earned a B.A. in international business at Southwest Minnesota State University.

The academically rigorous Honors College was created in 2005 as an extension of the University Honors Program. It is housed in the Honors Complex, a combination living and learning center. More.

Todd A. Rickel, Ph.D.
Vice Provost and Executive Dean, College of Applied Science and Technology
Dean, Wayne College

Todd A. Rickel joined UA in early 2015 to lead the College of Applied Science and Technology in its evolution as a portal college for nontraditional students as well as the development of the University's satellite campuses and online education.

Prior to joining UA, Rickel served as CEO of Rickel Education Group, a consulting firm in the public and private sectors in the education, technology, telecom and financial fields. Rickel's expertise includes online and hybrid program implementation and delivery, accreditation and regulatory compliance, faculty hiring, student services and graduate employment, new student enrollment and financially sustainable growth, international recruitment and curriculum development.

Rickel earned a B.S. in biology in 1991, an M.A. in cultural anthropology in 1996, and a Ph.D. in cultural foundations of education in 2000, all at Kent State University. More.

Matthew J. Wilson
Dean, School of Law

On July 31, 2014, Matthew J. Wilson became dean of the School of Law.

He leads a program with diverse offerings — beyond the traditional preparation for a career in law, the school offers joint degrees in business, taxation, public administration and human resource management. It also offers certificate programs in litigation and intellectual property. The School of Law's competition teams have a long history of excellence on the regional and national levels.

To his role Wilson brings a wide range of experience, working domestically and internationally as a business executive, commercial litigator, in-house general counsel, law professor and senior academic administrator.

Wilson comes to UA from the University of Wyoming College of Law, where he joined the faculty in 2009. A professor of law, his areas of specialization include international business law, intellectual property law, commercial litigation, international dispute resolution, comparative law and Japanese law. Wilson also has served as associate dean for academic affairs since July 2013, and was the associate dean of student affairs from August 2012 to July 2013.

During his time in Wyoming, Wilson was designated as a distinguished international scholar by Kyung Hee University Law School in Seoul, South Korea. He taught international negotiations, was a guest lecturer for other courses, led symposia and worked with the moot court team. More.