Nicole Stanton has been announced as Wesleyan University’s 12th Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, with her tenure beginning on May 15, 2020.
Stanton joined Wesleyan in 2007 as an associate professor of dance, has twice served as chair of the department (2008–2011; 2014–2017) and is currently serving as Dean of the Arts and Humanities. A dance artist and an educator by training, Stanton’s work explores the cultures and histories of the African diaspora, especially the ways in which the arts and dance serve as sites of reclamation and platforms for cultivating community.
Stanton earned a BA in dance and foreign civilizations and languages/European studies from Antioch College and an MFA in dance from The Ohio State University, where she was both an assistant and associate professor of dance and undergraduate studies chair from 2004 to 2007.
“At a time of rapid change in our field and country, Nicole’s inclusive leadership style and focus on shared governance will be critical in helping Wesleyan strengthen and hone its distinctive brand of liberal education going forward,” said President Michael S. Roth ’78. “She is the right choice at the right time for Wesleyan. I look forward to working with her.”
Stanton emerged from an accomplished pool of candidates on the strength of her long record of creativity, collaboration, and academic excellence over more than 20 years in higher education. A first-generation college student, and an accomplished artist and educator, Stanton’s work has been typified by the innovative combination of the arts and sciences and her ability to bring diverse voices into productive dialogue.
“Wesleyan expressly values interdisciplinarity, diversity, and generosity of spirit,” Stanton said. “Along with President Roth’s call to remember the urgency of our cultural moment and not continue with business as usual, the possibility of working from a powerful base to embrace innovation in this open, inclusive, transparent, and collaborative context drove my interest in this position, and will drive my work in it going forward. I couldn’t be more excited.”
For more on Stanton’s goals as provost and the unforseen disruption of the COVID pandemic, see “Re-Embracing the Past to Create a Bold New Future.“