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Saint Louis University Appoints Michael Lewis as Permanent Provost

ST. LOUIS (Feb. 17, 2021) — Saint Louis University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., announced today that Michael Lewis, Ph.D., will be appointed permanent provost. The appointment follows a national search that began in August 2020.

Michael Lewis, Ph.D.
Michael Lewis, Ph.D.

The provost serves as the University’s chief academic officer. In addition to academic oversight, the divisions of Enrollment and Retention Management, Research, and Student Development, and the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement all report to the provost.

Lewis has been SLU’s interim provost since July 2020. Prior to that appointment he served as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for 2019-2020 academic year, and as acting provost from August 2018 to January 2019.  He has been a member of the chemistry faculty since 2004.

“I strongly believe Mike is the best person for the job. He is a trusted leader and a person who can dive right in immediately, without the need for a lengthy period of acclimation and trust-building with faculty, staff and students,” said Pestello. “He has a deep commitment to our Catholic, Jesuit mission and will be a champion for enhancing the diversity, equity and inclusion on our campuses and in our community.”

Pestello also thanked the members of the Provost Search Committee, chaired by Jonathan Sawday, Ph.D., for their months of work to identify strong candidates for this position.

“It is humbling to be named SLU’s permanent provost.  I have been a member of the community for nearly 17 years, and I know the amazing capabilities of our faculty and staff.  I understand the incredible talents of our students, and the transformative nature of a SLU education,” said Lewis.  “I am thrilled to continue working with this community, enhancing our educational experience, expanding the impact of our research and scholarship, and leading with fidelity to our Jesuit Mission as we seek to embody equity and justice at SLU and throughout the St. Louis region.” 

Lewis says one of his top priorities will be working with the deans and faculty on development of an academic strategic plan for the University. He will continue his leadership of pressing and complex academic issues, including: unit resource disparities, recruitment and retention of faculty of color, implementation of the new Core curriculum, faculty workload disparities, academic portfolio review, and minority student success and retention throughout the university. 

About Saint Louis University

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.