Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel T.A. Croson is the chief academic officer of the University of Minnesota multi-campus system and provost for the Twin Cities campus, with overarching responsibility for fostering the academic excellence of the educational and research missions of the University and providing leadership for undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.
As Executive Vice President, Croson has systemwide oversight responsibility for promotion and tenure, for policies and practices spanning all operational areas that affect the academic life of the university and faculty development, and for the development, revision, and approval of academic programs. She also plays a collaborative leadership role for the University’s systemwide academic planning and budgeting process, for academic technology, and for capital planning. As Twin Cities Provost, Croson leads the Deans of the colleges, schools, and academic units of the Twin Cities campus and is responsible for advancing the academic mission of the flagship campus. In both these roles, she has responsibility for implementing many elements of the Systemwide Strategic Plan MPACT 2025.
Rachel T.A. Croson came to the University of Minnesota from Michigan State University (MSU), where she served as Dean of the College of Social Science and MSU Foundation Professor of Economics. Prior to her tenure at MSU, she served as dean of the School of Business at the University of Texas at Arlington, division director for Social and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation, professor and director of the Negotiations Center at the University of Texas at Dallas, and associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. She earned her bachelor's degree in economics and the philosophy of science from the University of Pennsylvania and her master's and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
Provost Croson’s research focuses on experimental and behavioral economics; studying how people make economic decisions, what mistakes they make, and how to improve their performance. This research draws from and contributes to multiple disciplines. Substantively her research has focused on the voluntary provision of public goods (especially public radio), bargaining and negotiation, behavioral operations management, and gender and cultural differences. She was pivotal in creating and leading workshops to help female junior faculty in Economics advance through the profession, and won the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award from the American Economic Association (2017). She is currently a AAAS Fellow (class of 2021) and appointed as a McKnight Endowed Professor in the Department of Economics.