Feb. 1, 2001

CONTACT: Ward Mullens



YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ronald Collins died at 4:30 p.m. today at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. He was 64.

"The University community is greatly saddened by the loss of Ron Collins," said Dr. Samuel A. Kirkpatrick, president of Eastern Michigan University. "Ron has been an integral part of this institution for more than 35 years and has led academic affairs for the past 18 years. He cared deeply about EMU and provided exemplary academic leadership. He will be missed by all of us."

Collins is survived by his two daughters, Debbie and Sharon. Collins' wife of 39 years, Gerrie, died in 1999.

As soon as plans for a University memorial service have been finalized, details will be released.

During his tenure as provost, the University's first doctoral program was approved, the honors program was initiated, the World College was created and the Department of African American Studies was established.

In addition, the basic studies (general education) requirements were revised; a Faculty Center for Instructional Excellence and a Center for Instructional Computing were established; a comprehensive review process was implemented; and the formation of the extended programs area was achieved.

Collins joined the EMU faculty as an assistant professor of chemistry in 1965. He was promoted to associate professor in 1967 and a full professor in 1971. Collins served as acting head of the chemistry department from 1977 to 1978, and was named head of the department in 1979. A year later, he was promoted to associate vice president for academic affairs and he served as acting vice president from 1982 to 1983. Collins was named provost and vice president of academic affairs in August 1983.

Collins earned his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Dayton and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from Indiana University. Prior to joining EMU, Collins was employed for four years as an inorganic research chemist at Wyandotte Chemicals Corporation in Wyandotte, Mich.

Collins was a nationally-recognized scholar and expert in the field of instructional computer usage. In 1977, he received Eastern Michigan University's first Distinguished Faculty Award. He also received the University of Dayton Alumni Association's Special Achievement Award in 1979. In 1980, he was awarded the Chemical Manufacturers Association's Catalyst Award, a national honor presented to only four faculty members each year.