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Biography of the Provost

Dr. Calvin White, Jr.
Dr. Calvin White, Jr.
Dr. Calvin White, Jr. was named Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research during spring 2023. Stepping into the role of academic leader and second-in-command of the university, White is the first African American named provost at A-State.

At Arkansas State, White directs the institution’s largest division, as well as overseeing vital community outreach programs including the Arkansas State Heritage Sites and the A-State Museum. White also is the top liaison for the Arkansas Biosciences Institute at Arkansas State. He will provide important direction to creation of new student support services, and will play a leadership role in other academic reorganization efforts in the upcoming year. His office also manages the A-State Reserve Officer Training Program regiment, one of the largest in the region.

White completed his Ph.D. in history at the University of Mississippi after earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history at Central Arkansas. Focusing on the history of the American South, White’s research in the African American experience, particularly in the Mississippi Delta region, has led to multiple publications. His first book, The Rise to Respectability: Race, Religion, and the Church of God in Christ was released in October 2012.

His most recent book, a biography of Oscar Stanton De Priest, is set for publication soon by Palgrave Macmillan. De Priest was the first African American elected to the U.S. Congress in the 20th century and the Illinois Republican served three terms in the House of Representatives.

Prior to joining A-State, White was the associate dean of humanities in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. In his role at UA, he was a key administrator of the largest college on the campus, overseeing several academic areas including programs, departments, centers and schools, including the Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History, the Diane Blair Center for Southern Politics and Society, and the Arkansas Humanities Center.

Prior to his most recent position with UA, he served as chair of the department of history at Fayetteville and as the director of the African and African American Studies Program.

During his time at UA, White served as a fellow in the SEC Academic Leadership Program and earned several teaching, advising and service awards, including the Fulbright Master Teacher Award, and the Dr. John and Mrs. Lois Imhoff Award for Outstanding Teaching and Student Mentorship. He also was inducted into UA’s Teaching Academy and served Gilder-Lehrman Fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York.

He joined UA in 2007 as an assistant professor, promoting to associate professor in 2013.

Before joining the faculty at UA, he was an instructor at the University of Mississippi and at UA-Pulaski Tech, and an adjunct at UCA.

A native of Stuttgart, White enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. One of his other great joys is travel. White has spent extensive time in east and west Africa and Europe along with numerous other international locations for research, personal and professional development.