Maria C. Cimitile is Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. She is committed to collaborative leadership, shared governance, excellence in teaching, innovative scholarship, strategic planning, high impact learning experiences, and purposeful academic service to the community.
Provost Cimitile earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Memphis, M.A. from Villanova University, and A.B. from the College of the Holy Cross. She joined Grand Valley State University in 1999 as Assistant Professor in Philosophy, received early tenure and promotion in 2004, and full professor in 2016.
Dr. Cimitile joined the Office of the Provost in 2009 as Interim Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, later filling the role permanently and promoted to Associate Vice President in 2016. Her work included development and oversight of the university curriculum (including distance education), program review, academic transfer policies and procedures, assistance with Academic and Student Affairs budgeting. Provost Cimitile also served as liaison to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation. Notably, she initiated and led a collaborative university-wide team to advocate for and develop a climate to support increased recruitment and retention of Latin@ students, which led to the creation of Laker Familía (a student orientation experience), Latin@ alumni group, a Latin@ faculty/staff affinity group, and a summer internship program with the Hispanic Center of West Michigan. Additionally, she initiated the Big Data Initiative, which aims to develop university-wide curriculum for both STEM and non-STEM majors, provide infrastructure support for teaching and research of terabyte level high performance computing needs, and create professional development opportunities for faculty around digital literacy for teaching and scholarship.
Provost Cimitile has given a number of presentations on administrative topics (peer-reviewed and invited), including critical thinking, assessment, strategic planning, leadership development, and diversity. Her own leadership development includes attending the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership, HERS Bryn Mawr Institute, as well as a number of seminars on academic leadership.
Provost Cimitile’s academic specialties are Feminist Philosophy, Contemporary European Philosophy, and Psychoanalysis and Political Theory. She is a frequent reviewer for academic journals that focus on feminist philosophy. She has been awarded the University Outstanding Teaching Award, the Pew Teaching Excellence Award, and the Educational Support Program Professor of the Year Award. Dr. Cimitile was also awarded the Barbara Jordan Award for her long-standing commitment to issues that affect women on campus. She served on the Faculty Salary and Budget Committee from 2001-2005, chairing the committee in the 2004-2005 academic year.
Prior to joining the Office of the Provost, Dr. Cimitile served as Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at GVSU with responsibility for assessment and strategic planning, curriculum development, student academic appeals and policies, advising, and diversity initiatives. She was the lead coordinator for the College for the North Central Association re-accreditation visit in 2008, coordinating assessment and strategic planning for all academic and advising programs in preparation for the review.