EMU Provost and Executive Vice President, Rhonda Longworth, named Crain’s Notable Women in Education Leadership 2019 honoree

By Mark Morgan / EMU

YPSILANTI – Rhonda Longworth, Eastern Michigan University provost and executive vice president of academic and student affairs, has been named a 2019 Crain’s Notable Women in Education Leadership honoree.

The list features women leaders in the education sector, including teachers, coaches, and administrators, spanning K-12 to higher education.

Provost Longworth’s leadership in educational administration centers on ensuring all functions of the University are regularly examined and enhanced to ensure students thrive and succeed. Ultimately, her leadership has led to student success, improved retention, and significant increases in graduation rates and strong employment opportunities for students following graduation.

She works with faculty and academic leaders to create signature learning opportunities, including applied learning, internships, undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and more, helping to link students’ knowledge gained in the classroom to their experiences in the real world in terms of employability and graduate school. During her tenure, EMU’s increased investments in faculty research led to the institution’s recognition as a Doctoral University with High Research Activity as part of the Carnegie Classification®.

Longworth is a key University champion in leading Eastern Michigan’s mission as an institution of opportunity — an inclusive, student-centered campus where students from all backgrounds – whether first year, transfer, graduate or non-traditional – are welcome, learn together and succeed.

She also is a recognized scholar, which deepens her support for faculty. She is co-author of the book, “Framing Sarah Palin,” which uses Palin’s 2008 vice presidential candidacy to examine narratives that surround women candidates for office and their relationship to partisan politics.

“Dr. Longworth is an exceptional leader with a wide range of skills and deep character who has distinguished herself in every phase of her career,” says EMU President James Smith. “Her extensive experience and grasp of Eastern’s mission through her years of service in multiple leadership roles give her a broad understanding of faculty and student life. This perspective plays out in so many areas at Eastern, including academic, graduation and retention initiatives. She has earned the trust of faculty and staff, and has helped unite and focus Eastern in its mission of serving students in a distinctly diverse and welcoming environment.”

As Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Longworth oversees the Eastern Michigan University Division of Academic and Student Affairs and its more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations in five colleges. In her role, she leads 650 tenured and tenure track faculty, just over 90 full time lecturers and more than 400 other instructors, as well as 100 academic administrators and 400 staff members. 

She previously served as Associate Provost and Associate Vice President, Academic Programming and Support Services from August 2011 until January 2016, when she assumed the role of Interim Provost & Executive Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs. In 2017, she was appointed permanent Provost and Executive Vice President after a national search. She has worked at Eastern for 25 years, starting as a faculty member in the Department of Political Science.

Longworth has been and is currently highly active on a number of boards and committees. She currently serves on the board for Michigan ACE (American Council on Education) Woman’s Network, and Eastern Michigan University’s Women in Philanthropy organization.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University’s website.