What is a provost?

The Office of the Provost oversees all academic units on the Bloomington campus and coordinates initiatives related to faculty research, creative activity, and professional development; diversity and inclusion; sustainability and rural partnerships; health and safety; and student success and well-being. The provost promotes a campus environment of expansive inclusivity, rigorous intellectual inquiry, and compassionate engagement with the community in Bloomington and around the world.

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As Chief Academic Officer of Indiana University's flagship campus, the provost reports directly to the IU president and works with all the academic and administrative units on the Bloomington campus to meet the university’s strategic goals. The provost's specific duties include:

  • Energizing research and creative activity
  • Securing funding for the sciences and research in all fields
  • Recruiting and retaining top-quality faculty
  • Managing academic appointments, searches, tenure, and promotion
  • Leading the university’s globalization efforts
  • Overseeing the improvement of academic quality of the student body
  • Elevating the campus intellectual climate
  • Safeguarding and improving diversity, humanity, and accessibility

History of the Provost

Rahul Shrivastav


Rahul Shrivastav is Provost and Executive Vice President. His research on speech perception and production helps design better measurement systems for treatment outcomes, improved hearing aids, cochlear implants, and mobile phones, and assessment and screening tools for a variety of diseases. From 2015 until 2021, he served as Vice President for Instruction at the University of Georgia, where he oversaw 20 offices and programs that support critical teaching and learning functions. Shrivastav earned his doctoral degree in speech and hearing sciences, with a minor in cognitive sciences, from IU Bloomington. He was honored with the Colonel Allan R. and Margaret G. Crow Term Professorship at the University of Florida and was named a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, as well as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2020.

John Applegate


John S. Applegate served as Interim Provost and Executive Vice President from July 2021 to February 2022. A distinguished environmental law scholar, he is the James L. Calamaras Professor of Law at the IU Maurer School of Law. Provost Applegate is an expert on risk regulation and administrative law, and he has served on numerous National Academies of Sciences committees advising on the clean-up of former nuclear weapons production facilities. Before being appointed interim provost, Applegate served for over a decade as IU’s executive vice president for university academic affairs, and his responsibilities in that position included oversight of the five IU regional campuses, university-wide academic initiatives, online education, public safety and health, and strategic planning.

Lauren Robel


During her tenure as provost and executive vice president from 2012 to 2021, Lauren Robel oversaw reorganization of campus units such as the Luddy School and the School of Public Health, as well as creation of the Media School, the Hamilton Lugar School, and the Eskenazi School. Through execution of the IU Bloomington Bicentennial Strategic Plan, she also launched the Center of Excellence for Women and Technology, the Arts and Humanities Council, the Center for Rural Engagement, and IU Corps, and oversaw renovation of Maxwell Hall into a Center for the Arts and Humanities. Previously, Robel served as dean of the Maurer School of Law, where she has now returned to teach and research as the Val A. Nolan Professor of Law.

Karen Hanson


When McRobbie became IU’s 18th president in 2007, Karen Hanson, then dean of the Hutton Honors College and Rudy Professor of Philosophy, was named provost and executive vice president. Hanson focused on strengthening the academic profile of the Bloomington campus, making the campus more diverse, implementing the general education program, partnering with other institutions of higher learning around the state to ensure appropriate transferability of credits, and keeping higher education affordable and accessible to Hoosier students. She also led the committee to create the 2011 New Academic Directions report, which led to the formation of several new schools and programs on the Bloomington campus in the areas of media, informatics and computing, public health, international studies, and the environment.

Michael McRobbie


IU’s first provost was Michael A. McRobbie. McRobbie joined IU in 1997 as the university’s first vice president for information technology and chief information officer. He was appointed vice president for research in 2003. McRobbie was appointed interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at IU Bloomington in 2006. In that position, he worked to rebuild academic leadership by appointing six new deans and several other key senior leaders, helped complete the IU Life Sciences Strategic Plan, further addressed the needs of arts and humanities programs, and oversaw the move of IU Bloomington to become a more selective campus, while ensuring that it remained accessible and affordable to low-income and minority students through a major increase in financial aid.

IU Bloomington Campus Mission Statement

Bloomington is the flagship residential, doctoral-extensive campus of Indiana University. Our mission is to create, disseminate, preserve, and apply knowledge. We do so through our commitments to:

  • cutting-edge research, scholarship, arts, and creative activity;
  • challenging and inspired undergraduate, graduate, professional, and lifelong education;
  • culturally diverse and international educational programs and communities;
  • first-rate library and museum collections;
  • economic development in the state and region;
  • and meaningful experiences outside the classroom.

We are committed to full diversity, academic freedom, and meeting the changing educational and research needs of the state, the nation, and the world.