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The University of Michigan Board of Regents announced the appointment of Laurie Kay McCauley as the University’s next Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at their March 24 meeting. McCauley will replace outgoing provost Susan Collins on May 16 and remain in the role until June 2023 or until a permanent provost is appointed.

Interim President Mary Sue Coleman recommended McCauley’s appointment as provost March 15. At the Board of Regents March 24 meeting, Coleman spoke about McCauley’s experience and qualifications for the role.

“As you know, Dr. McCauley is … a proven academic leader and a respected administrator,” Coleman said. “Her expertise and experience will provide critical leadership and stability as a new president comes on board. She is with us today, and I want to thank her for her willingness to assume this vital role.”

In an email to The Michigan Daily, University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald wrote the new University president would conduct the search for a permanent provost.

“The search for the next provost will be up to the new president, which the Board of Regents hope to appoint this summer,” Fitzgerald wrote. “It’s important the new president has the opportunity to select the provost because of the close working relationship between these two top university leaders.”

McCauley currently serves as the Dean of the University’s School of Dentistry. She has held the position since 2013, making her one of the longest-serving deans at the University. McCauley is also a professor at Michigan Medicine’s Department of Pathology.

Fitzgerald wrote in the email that McCauley’s replacement as dentistry dean has not yet been named.

“Because Laurie McCauley’s appointment as provost was just approved (on March 24) and does not begin until May 15, there has not yet been a decision on who will succeed her as, most likely, interim dean of the Dental School,” Fitzgerald wrote.

McCauley first became a faculty member at the School of Dentistry in 1992 as an assistant professor after receiving her Bachelor of Science degree and three postgraduate degrees from Ohio State University.

In 2002, McCauley was named the William K. and Mary Ann Najjar Professor of Periodontics. That same year, she became the department chair of Periodontics and Oral Medicine and remained in the position for the next 10 years. 

McCauley stepped down from her post in the Periodontics and Oral Medicine department to become the 14th dean of the School of Dentistry in 2013. McCauley is the first woman to serve as dean in the school’s history.

Under McCauley’s tenure, the University of Michigan School of Dentistry has been ranked the #1 dental school in the United States and #2 in the world. McCauley also oversaw the school’s renovation and expansion, which began in 2018.

In a March 15 press release, McCauley said she was excited to step into her new role as provost.

“I look forward to working with the U-M community to continue to elevate our academic programs and celebrate the breadth and depth of accomplishments across our campus,” McCauley said. 

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly interpreted a quote from University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald that McCauley would play a prominent role in the search for the next provost. This article has been updated to reflect this change.

Daily Staff Reporter Irena Li can be reached at