As the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, John Coleman oversees the campus’s academic programs, policies, and priorities, which are designed to ensure the quality of the educational experience for students and to sustain an environment that encourages and supports academic excellence through diversity, inclusion, and free inquiry, debate, and speech. In this role, he works closely with the chancellor, vice chancellors, the deans of academic colleges and other units, academic staff, the Senate of the Illinois campus, and various committees in setting overall academic priorities for the campus.
Prior to being named Provost, Coleman served for nine years as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and as the chair of the Political Science Department, a Lyons Family Faculty Fellow, and the Glenn B. and Cleone Orr Hawkins Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was on the faculty for over 20 years and received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He has also held a faculty position at the University of Texas at Austin and was a research associate and instructor at Harvard Business School.
Coleman earned a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. summa cum laude in government and history from Clark University where he was a first-generation college student. A nationally recognized scholar, he is the author or editor of seven books on American politics and government and numerous articles in major journals and edited volumes. His research interests include political parties, elections and voting, legislative-executive relations, divided government, campaign finance, American political development, and the intersection of politics and economics. He served as president of the American Political Science Association’s section on political organizations and parties.