March 10, 2021

Wayne State University names Mark L. Kornbluh provost

Mark L. Kornbluh, Ph.D., who most recently served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky (UK), has been named provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, pending approval from the Wayne State University Board of Governors at its March 12 meeting.

Kornbluh, who currently serves as a history professor at UK, is a nationally respected educator, author and administrator whose extensive research spans U.S. history, oral history and academics in the age of the internet. Prior to his roles at UK, Kornbluh taught at Michigan State University from 1994 to 2009, rising from assistant professor to professor and department chair. He has also held positions at Washington University, Rice University and Oklahoma State University.

"We could not have hoped for a better-qualified candidate for the provost's position, and are delighted that Mark Kornbluh will be joining the university,” said Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson. “I have tremendous confidence in his ability to help us advance our mission and look forward to his guidance and leadership in all academic matters at Wayne State University.”


Kornbluh has published numerous articles and reviews on subjects including oral histories in a digital age, civics and civil rights, digital humanities, and the preservation of African American history. He is the author of the book Why Americans Stopped Voting: The Decline of Participatory Democracy and the Emergence of Modern American Politics.

Kornbluh previously served as the executive director of H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, an independent, nonprofit association that offers an open academic space for scholars. Kornbluh’s research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Historic Publications and Records Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Ford and Mellon Foundations, among many others.

He replaces Laurie Lauzon Clabo, who has served as interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs since August 2020. Clabo will resume her responsibilities as dean of the College of Nursing when Kornbluh begins his appointment. 

As Wayne State’s chief academic officer, Kornbluh will be Wayne State’s second-ranking executive officer, responsible for all matters related to the instructional mission of the university, student performance and retention, and academic personnel policies and decisions, among other duties.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve as the next provost of Wayne State,” said Kornbluh. “It is clear that the university is committed to excellence in education and impact, and I look forward to collaborating with the community.”

Kornbluh holds a B.A. in history and political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University.

His appointment follows a national search that began in September 2020 and was chaired by WSU School of Medicine Distinguished Professor Jack Sobel.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 26,000 students.

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