Martha Pollack will serve an additional three years as U-M provost


Martha E. Pollack, the university’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, will serve in that role through June 30, 2018. The extension of her appointment for an additional three years was approved Thursday by the Board of Regents.

As the chief academic and budgetary officer of the university, Pollack will continue to provide leadership to support the university’s scholarly enterprise and the planning and implementation of its academic programs. She collaborates with the president in setting overall academic priorities for the university and allocates funds to carry out these priorities. 

Martha Pollack

“Provost Pollack has an impressive track record of accomplishment since her appointment as provost in May 2013,” said President Mark Schlissel in recommending that her appointment be extended. “She has been an innovative and disciplined budget leader for the campus and under her leadership, the university has made important strides in both holding down tuition costs and providing more financial aid to students. 

“Provost Pollack has spearheaded important new initiatives for the campus in digital education and engaged learning. She has recruited several new outstanding deans and other important leaders for the campus, and has worked with great passion and commitment to advance our efforts on campus diversity and climate. She also provided key leadership as the university transitioned to a new president this year.”

She has been a member of the U-M faculty since joining the College of Engineering in 2000.  Immediately prior to her appointment as provost, she served as vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs, the provost’s senior staff member in setting budgetary policy and allocating resources. She also was dean of the School of Information from 2007-10, and was an associate chair for computer science and engineering from 2004-07. 

Pollack received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College in 1979, and Master of Science in Engineering and Ph.D. degrees in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and 1986, respectively. 

As a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Pollack’s research has been in the area of artificial intelligence, where she has published widely on topics including automated planning, natural-language processing, temporal reasoning, and constraint satisfaction.

A particular focus of her work has been the design of intelligent technology to assist people with cognitive impairment, a topic on which she testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Aging. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Intel, DARPA, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Pollack has received numerous awards for her research and has been honored for her professional service, including the 2014 Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Award from the American Council on Education’s Women’s Network Michigan and the Sarah Goddard Power Award in recognition for her efforts to increase the representation of and climate for women and underrepresented minorities in science and engineering. 

She has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, a member of the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Division, and a member of the board of directors of the Computing Research Associate, where she currently is secretary.


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