Garikai Campbell '90 Named Provost and Senior Vice President at Morehouse College

by Alisa Giardinelli
Garikai Campbell '90
Garikai Campbell '90

Associate Professor of Mathematics Garikai Campbell '90 has been named provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Morehouse College, effective August 5. As the College's chief academic officer, Campbell will assume overall responsibility for all matters related to the quality of the academic program including student learning, faculty, curricula, research, and special academic programs.

Campbell, who graduated from Swarthmore with a B.A. in mathematics and earned a Ph.D. in the same field from Rutgers University, returned to Swarthmore as a member of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in 1997. In addition to his tenure in that role, he has served in several leadership positions, including associate dean of academic affairs, acting dean of students, and associate vice president for strategic planning and special assistant to the president.

"Kai has made significant and lasting contributions to the Swarthmore community, first as a talented student and later as a dedicated and tireless member of the faculty and the administration," says President Rebecca Chopp. "His commitment to undergraduate education in all areas, but especially in the sciences, is unwavering. I have no doubt he will continue to expand access and achievement in the liberal arts and have a similar, if not greater, impact in his new role at Morehouse, known for its long tradition of preparing students to serve as leaders in their communities."

"I immediately recognized in Dr. Campbell a combination of energy and intelligence that makes him the ideal person to lead Morehouse's academic program and I could not be more excited to welcome him to the College," says Morehouse College President John Wilson, Jr. "We need significant game-change potential in each and every new teammate we bring aboard. Kai will clearly be a game-change provost, who will play an important role in helping to achieve our goal of strengthening Morehouse as one of the nation's leading liberal arts colleges. I look forward to working with him."

Campbell's primary area of research focused on elliptic curves, with an emphasis on producing methods for discovering curves with specific algebraic properties in order to solve problems in number theory. He is the recipient of a Minority Graduate Fellowship by the National Science Foundation; a Lindback Minority Junior Faculty Grant; the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship; and the Henry Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching from the Mathematical Association of America. Campbell has also served on the advisory boards for the Math is Power and Figure This! Campaigns, both designed to champion the importance of math and science literacy to elementary and middle school-aged kids and their parents.

"Morehouse and Swarthmore are alike in many ways, each sharing a deep commitment to the liberal arts, academic rigor, and social justice," Campbell says. "The people I have had the chance to deeply engage over the last 25 years are remarkably special. I will cherish and miss this community. Like Swarthmore, Morehouse has a long tradition of producing extraordinary graduates, both in their chosen discipline and in their character. I am tremendously excited to be joining and working with the Morehouse community to build on the strengths of such a historically significant institution."