Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson
June 16, 2021
University of Delaware Provost Robin Morgan has announced plans to retire later this year.
“I cannot easily express my feelings in words for the University of Delaware, as I have lived most of my life on our extraordinary campus. This University is a big part of who I fundamentally am,” said Morgan. “I am deeply grateful to President Dennis Assanis for the opportunity to serve as UD’s provost. Working together has been a privilege, and I eagerly look forward to what lies ahead for UD. I will always cherish countless memories, inspiring friendships and unparalleled experiences shared with many students, faculty and staff colleagues that have been vital to my professional and personal enrichment.”
Morgan, a professor of animal and food sciences at UD for over 35 years, was named the University’s 11th provost in 2018, after serving in an interim role for seven months. She was the first woman to hold the post in a permanent capacity.
“Robin Morgan has been a valued and trusted partner in my administration for nearly four years. I will miss her insightful wisdom, fairness and unstoppable energy to make a positive difference,” UD President Dennis Assanis said. “As the University’s chief academic officer, she has worked tirelessly with the deans, the Senate and me to advance key academic priorities, including the establishment of both the Honors College and the Graduate College and the cluster-hiring of new faculty to promote interdisciplinary programs and inclusive excellence. During the past 15 months, Robin has played an instrumental role in the University’s effective response to the pandemic crisis to help keep our community safe. A hallmark of Robin’s dedication to UD throughout her distinguished career has been her unwavering commitment to its students, its faculty and its staff.”
Assanis said Morgan will continue to serve as provost during the transition period while a national search is conducted for her successor, beginning this summer.
As the University’s chief academic officer, the provost is responsible for administration of all programs of instruction, research and service, and for facilitating the success of the University’s faculty and students. Reporting to the provost are UD’s 10 deans, the deputy provost for academic affairs, vice provost for diversity, vice provost for faculty affairs, vice provost for libraries, vice provost for graduate and professional education, vice president for enrollment management, and associate provost and chief of staff.
Morgan has held a number of leadership positions since she joined the UD faculty in 1985 as an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. After serving as associate dean for research in the college, Morgan became acting dean and then dean of the college, a position she held from 2002-12. In 2014, she was appointed interim chair of the Department of Biological Sciences and served as chair from 2016 until her appointment as interim provost.
Morgan earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Meredith College and her Ph.D. in biology from The Johns Hopkins University. She also did postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley.
She has been involved in cancer research since entering graduate school at Johns Hopkins in 1977. Since joining the faculty of the University of Delaware, she has worked on Marek’s disease, a herpesvirus-induced T-cell lymphoma of chickens. Her lab has studied how Marek’s disease virus (MDV) induces T-cell lymphomas and how vaccines protect against tumor formation.
A member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Morgan has served on a number of association boards and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for Longwood Gardens. She has also received a host of fellowships and awards, including the Outstanding Alumni Award from Meredith College, the Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. Outstanding Achievement Award,the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) Phibro Animal Health Excellence in Poultry Research Award and the award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture in Delaware.
“The entire campus community wishes Robin and her husband, Jim Damewood, the very best for the next phase of their journey together as they continue to be engaged members of the Blue Hen Community for years to come,” Assanis said.