MAY 5, 2000

Contact Pamela Young





YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ronald Collins has announced his retirement, effective May 1, 2001. Collins has served the University for nearly 35 years, the last 17 as provost.

"It has been a tremendous honor to serve in this position for 17 years, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. It has been exciting and challenging, and the position has changed tremendously during the past 17 years," said Collins. "I have had the opportunity to serve under two presidents for whom I have tremendous respect and, under their leadership, we have made tremendous progress as an institution. I believe we built a strong academic team, which has served the interests of students well."

Collins, who will be 65 next February, said he had been thinking about this decision every day since his wife of 39 years, Gerrie, passed away last August. "The time is right to make a change in my life," he said. "I am looking forward to having a new president come in and pledge my full support to Dr. Samuel Kirkpatrick (Eastern Michigan's incoming president).

"I see this next year as a transition in which we will seek to fully implement the doctorates in clinical psychology and technology, and complete our preparations for the North Central Association (NCA) site visit next spring. It seemed appropriate to commit to staying through the NCA visit and to retire as provost next May, or as such time as my successor is selected."

Collins joined the faculty at Eastern Michigan in 1965 as an assistant professor of chemistry. He was promoted to associate professor in 1967 and full professor in 1971. He served as acting head of the chemistry department from 1977 to 1978 and was named head of the department in 1979. In 1980, he was promoted to associate vice president for academic affairs and he served as acting vice president from 1982 to 1983. He was named provost and vice president for academic affairs in August 1983.

Collins earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Dayton and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from Indiana University. He was employed as an inorganic research chemist by the Wyandotte Chemicals Corporation in Wyandotte, Mich. for four years prior to joining the faculty at Eastern Michigan.

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

During his tenure as provost, the University's first doctoral program was approved; the Honors Program was initiated; a World College was created; the Basic Studies (General Education) requirements were revised; and a Faculty Center for Instructional Excellence was established, along with a Center for Instructional Computing. A comprehensive program review process also was implemented; the department of African American Studies was established; and the formation of the extended programs area was achieved.

President William E. Shelton praised Collins for his lengthy service to the University. "I want to extend my personal and professional gratitude to Dr. Collins for his support during my tenure as president," said Shelton. "He provided tremendous academic leadership during the 80s and 90s and his commitment to academic excellence is sincerely appreciated.

"He has played an integral role in numerous initiatives that focused on learning and scholarly activities. I treasure Dr. Collins as a colleague and as a friend and know the University community will benefit from his service of more than three decades."