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Jonathan Holloway named new provost

Dean of Yale College to become Northwestern's chief academic officer

Jonathan Holloway
Jonathan Holloway will take the new post July 1, 2017.

EVANSTON - Jonathan Holloway, Dean of Yale College, has been named provost of Northwestern University, Northwestern President Morton Schapiro announced today. Holloway, 49, will take the post on July 1, 2017, succeeding Daniel Linzer, who is stepping down after 10 years in the position.

Holloway is Dean of Yale College and Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies. He specializes in post-emancipation United States history with a focus on social and intellectual history. He is the author of Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941 (2002) and Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940 (2013), both published by the University of North Carolina Press. He edited Ralph Bunche’s A Brief and Tentative Analysis of Negro Leadership (NYU Press, 2005) and co-edited Black Scholars on the Line: Race, Social Science, and American Thought in the 20th Century (Notre Dame University Press, 2007). He has written an introduction for a new edition of W.E.B. Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk, published by Yale University Press in 2015, and is currently working on a new book, A History of Absence: Public Narratives, Race, and the Making of the Modern World.

“It has been my very good fortune to have Dan Linzer as provost since I came to Northwestern eight years ago,” President Schapiro said. “I am now thrilled to have another outstanding scholar and exceptionally able administrator as my partner in the academic leadership of Northwestern. I’m eager to have Jonathan join us, and I’m confident that the Northwestern community will enjoy getting to know him.”

I see Northwestern as an incubator of the next great ideas in science, medicine, and engineering, and the custodian of the grand traditions in the humanities and social sciences.

Jonathan Holloway,
Dean of Yale College

Holloway won the William Clyde DeVane Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Teaching in Yale College in 2009 and the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award in 2014. He served as the master of Calhoun College from 2005-2014 and was Chair of the Council of Masters from 2009-2013. He began a three-year term as Chair of the Department of African American Studies in 2013. That term was abbreviated when he was named Dean of Yale College, beginning in July 2014.  

Holloway has held fellowships from the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University, the Stanford Humanities Center and the Ford Foundation. He was an Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellow in 2011-2012. Currently, he is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

“I am incredibly excited to join the Northwestern community,” Holloway said. “I have long admired the scholarship that has been produced by Northwestern faculty members in my fields, and I am now eager to discover and, importantly, to support the work of my new colleagues across the University.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to work alongside Morty Schapiro. I will do everything I can to support his vision for the University,” Holloway added. “I know he is eager to highlight the incredible accomplishments of the faculty and to augment Northwestern’s standing as one of the nation’s premier research universities. I join him in that work and am confident that, together with the faculty, we can achieve great things.”

Holloway received a bachelor’s degree with honors in American Studies from Stanford University. He then went on to earn three advanced degrees from Yale, an M.A. in history, an M.Phil. in history and a Ph.D. in history. He began his academic career at the University of California, San Diego, before joining the faculty at Yale in 1999 and becoming a full professor in 2004.

“I see Northwestern as an incubator of the next great ideas in science, medicine, and engineering, and the custodian of the grand traditions in the humanities and social sciences,” Holloway said. “I look forward to working with the deans of every school at Northwestern, as we build upon strength and develop new and exciting directions for the University’s teaching and research activities.”

Holloway is married to Aisling Colón. They have a daughter, Emerson, 16, and son, Ellison, 13.

“I have spent all but five years of my professional career at Yale,” Holloway said. “Leaving that institution is a decision that did not come easily, and I leave New Haven with many, many fond memories. That said, I am looking forward to a new professional adventure, and my family shares in my excitement about discovering the opportunities and resources in the Evanston and Chicago communities.” 

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