Dr. Prabu David joins RIT August 1; Christine Licata to serve as interim provost

I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Prabu David, Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Staff Development and former Dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University, will join us as RIT’s new Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. David begins his tenure on August 1.

After a national search, Dr. David was selected based on his reputation as a leader, collaborator, curricular innovator, and researcher. As dean of MSU’s nationally ranked College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Prabu led improvements in student and faculty success, the launch of six new undergraduate majors, two new online masters programs, and a new doctoral curriculum. He was highly successful in fundraising for new professorships, scholarships, experiential learning, and laboratories for teaching and research. His college also oversaw WKAR Radio and TV. In addition, Prabu served on MSU’s university-wide 2030 strategic planning committee, the DEI committee, and a presidential search committee.  

Prabu is a social scientist who studies the social and psychological influences of technology in daily life. His most recent research focuses on the development of an AI chatbot to offer social support to youth who are struggling with anxiety or depression. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Loyola College in Chennai, India, a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio University, and a doctoral degree in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Prabu’s history of fostering interdisciplinary research and building strong ties amongst health colleges, engineering, social sciences, the arts, and humanities, will serve us well as we strive to further develop our partnerships across all colleges. I’m confident that his presence will strengthen our leadership position in the areas of creativity and innovation as we continue to build our preeminence at the intersection of technology, the arts, and design. Please join me in welcoming Prabu and his wife Jackie to the RIT family when they arrive later this summer.

In the interim, Dr. Christine Licata, vice provost, will lead the Division of Academic Affairs. In her current role, Christine’s vice provost responsibilities include coordinating academic program review, curriculum management, and accreditation processes. She also provides oversight to the Student Hall for Exploration and Development (SHED), K-12 Programs, and the Office of Educational Effectiveness Assessment. I am confident in Christine’s ability to steer the ship until Prabu takes the helm on August 1 and I thank her for undertaking this important service to our institution.

I would like to express appreciation to the Provost Search Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr. Doreen Edwards and Dr. Keith Jenkins, and facilitated by Karen Barrows and the search firm Isaacson Miller, for their time, thoughtful planning, and commitment to excellence. More broadly, I am indebted to all the faculty, staff, students, and trustees who participated in the search process.

Finally, I would like to thank outgoing Provost Ellen Granberg for her outstanding service to the RIT community and wish her the very best as she begins her new role as president of the George Washington University on July 1. 

Yours in Tiger Pride, 

David Munson