Introducing Emory’s Next Provost

Dr. Ravi Bellamkonda

Dear Emory community,

I am excited to announce that in consultation with the Provost Search Advisory Committee, I have selected Dr. Ravi Bellamkonda, an acclaimed biomedical scientist and former Emory professor, as Emory’s next provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, effective July 1.

Dr. Bellamkonda will return to Emory after serving as dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University for the past five years. He previously held a joint appointment as a faculty member at Emory and Georgia Tech from 2003 to 2016, serving as chair of the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering for three years.

Dr. Bellamkonda has an incredible enthusiasm for Emory, and he understands what sets our mission apart in delivering a life-changing undergraduate liberal arts education and dynamic graduate and professional programs at our world-class research university. He is that rare academic leader whose eminence in his discipline is complemented by a strong dedication to elevating the undergraduate student experience and collaborating in research across many disciplines and fields of study.

At Duke, Dr. Bellamkonda oversaw vast improvements in the academic and research enterprise. He led a reimagining of the engineering curriculum to introduce experiential learning, design thinking, and team-based projects in the first year, and emphasize authentic, society-oriented problem-solving throughout the undergraduate experience. He also helped recruit and retain many preeminent faculty members, realizing a greater than 10 percent increase in the school’s tenure-track faculty and 30 percent growth in faculty research expenditures. At the same time, the number of female and other underrepresented faculty members in the school of engineering nearly doubled.

Dr. Bellamkonda also led many efforts related to diversity and inclusion at Duke. In addition to significantly expanding faculty diversity, he championed the establishment of a school-wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community initiative that engages faculty, staff, and students, as well as the recruitment of a new director of diversity and inclusion. He also serves on the steering committee for Duke’s Center for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation. Under his leadership, Duke’s school of engineering was recognized with a Bronze Award and Exemplar status by the American Society for Engineering Education’s Diversity Recognition Program.

As we celebrate Dr. Bellamkonda as Emory’s next provost, I also want to make clear that we would not have gotten to this point without Interim Provost Jan Love. The last year has been a blur of challenges and unexpected events, yet through it all, Emory has relied over and again on the counsel and vision of Interim Provost Love. In the six months I have been here, I quickly learned to value her leadership, commitment, and thoughtful guidance as she helped pull our university through a very challenging time. She answered the call to service with courage and empathy, and I know that the entire Emory community is grateful to her. Interim Provost Love will continue to serve in her current role until July 1, after which she will resume her exemplary decanal leadership of Candler School of Theology. I cannot thank Jan enough for all she’s done for us.

I am also grateful for the dedicated efforts of the Provost Search Advisory Committee and the valuable community input we received through our listening sessions. The national search included the consideration of more than 70 individuals and interviews of a diverse and outstanding group of finalists. The search advisory committee was impressed by the fact that Dr. Bellamkonda consistently demonstrated collaboration, optimism, humility, and integrity when discussing his accomplishments and approach to leadership.

When I spoke with Ravi earlier this week, he asked to share a message with everyone at Emory. So, here are his direct words to you:

Emory family, I cannot tell you how excited I am to return to Atlanta with my wife, Lalita, so that we can once again be a part of your warm, compassionate, and welcoming community. This amazing university has the potential to lead in so many areas: from the creative arts and medicine to undergraduate and graduate education and beyond. I know that there is much work to be done, but for me, it all begins with listening to you—getting to know your hopes and aspirations, so that I can help, facilitate, and make it easier for you to realize them in every way possible. I know how special you are. I know how special Emory is. And I can’t wait to get started! It’s an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to serve you.—Ravi

With Ravi Bellamkonda as our chief academic officer, I am confident that Emory will chart a course that will elevate our mission to serve humanity across all areas of our scholarship and expertise. And I am thrilled that we could bring Ravi back to serve the university he cares so deeply for.


Gregory L. Fenves

Share This Story