Teachers College has named Stephanie J. Rowley, a prominent educational psychologist and multidisciplinary research administrator at the University of Michigan (U-M), to serve as its next Provost, Dean of the College and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dr. James will continue to serve as a professor and to co-direct – with Ansley T. Erickson, Associate Professor of History & Education – TC’s Center on History and Education.

“Stephanie Rowley is an eminent scholar and a consummate institution builder with a record of success in uniting great minds to develop innovative approaches and solutions to society’s pressing challenges,” said Teachers College President Thomas Bailey. “I am confident that Dr. Rowley will help us make the most of our many strengths and deepen and expand our already vibrant connections to our surrounding community and external partner organizations.”

Stephanie Rowley is an eminent scholar and a consummate institution builder with a record of success in uniting great minds to develop innovative approaches and solutions to society’s pressing challenges.

—Thomas Bailey

“I was initially drawn by the rich history and reputation of Teachers College, but the more I learned, the more I realized that this role would be an ideal fit for me because of the possibilities for combining multidisciplinary strengths,” Rowley said. “TC has so many visible and highly engaged scholars. There’s so much opportunity to connect with New York City and its public schools and to reap the benefits of being in such a diverse and dynamic place.”

Rowley’s colleagues at the University of Michigan praised Teachers College’s choice. “As Associate Vice President for Research, Stephanie Rowley has collaborated with faculty, students, and staff across campus to support research, while providing exceptional leadership in developing and coordinating innovative initiatives,” said S. Jack Hu, Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan. “I commend Teachers College for its selection of Professor Rowley as its next Provost, Dean of the College and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and I am confident she will excel in her new role.”

Stephanie J. Rowley

COLLABORATIVE STYLE In supporting research activities, Rowley has sought to provide “the kind of mentoring and nurturing that would support success.”

Elizabeth Cole, Interim Dean, Professor of Psychology, Women’s Studies and AfroAmerican and African Studies, said: “During her many years at Michigan, Dr. Stephanie Rowley has been a leader as both a scholar and an administrator. She’s made lasting impacts in every unit she has served through her collaborative style, her commitment to diversity and inclusion, and her unfailing support for faculty research across the breadth of the social sciences and humanities. She will be greatly missed.”

A Professor of Psychology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Dr. Rowley currently serves as Associate Vice President for Research (Social Sciences and Humanities), in U-M’s Office of Research. She previously chaired U-M’s Department of Psychology and its Combined Program in Education and Psychology.

In her role as a research administrator she has ensured the participation of social scientists and humanists in key multidisciplinary University initiatives. One signature example is Mcity, a $26.5 million project in which the university is working with a consortium of 59 automotive and other companies to further develop autonomous vehicle technology and fully think through its long-term societal implications. The Mcity test facility is an actual small city on the U-M campus that’s used to test-drive autonomous vehicles.

“Bringing together people from public policy, history, philosophy, psychology and other fields has been a great learning experience for me,” Dr. Rowley says. “It’s really helped me to understand that different schools and programs have different cultures, and that interdisciplinary work is really all about leveraging those cultures.”

TC has so many visible and highly engaged scholars. There’s so much opportunity to connect with New York City and its public schools and to reap the benefits of being in such a diverse and dynamic place.

—Stephanie J. Rowley

In her own scholarship, Dr. Rowley has explored how parents’ social experiences, attitudes and beliefs influence the ways in which they socialize their children, and how that socialization process in turn affects children’s motivation in school.

In a 2018 paper, for example, she and her students found that African-American parents’ racial identity shapes their sense of trust in their children’s schools and that trust, then, shapes students’ motivation.

Dr. Rowley says she is looking forward to helping TC develop more engaged scholarship and partnerships that bring faculty into even greater contact with the community, the nonprofit world and those working in government.

“I’m super excited about supporting research activities. When I chaired the Psychology and Psychology & Education programs at U-M, our focus was removing barriers to writing and getting grants. The goal was to provide the kind of mentoring and nurturing that would support success.”