Candidates for provost position named; forums scheduled

Three finalists have been named as candidates for the position of provost and executive vice president of academic affairs at Miami University. Open forums are scheduled for each: Phyllis Callahan (Nov. 13-14), James Coleman (Nov. 17-18) and Neville Pinto (Nov. 20-21).

Phyllis Callahan

Nov. 13:
Oxford open forum, 4-4:50 p.m., 128 Pearson Hall
Student forum, 5-5:50 p.m., West Commons, Farmer School of Business

Nov. 14:
Regional campuses open forum, 10-10:50 a.m., Seminar Room 1, Wilks Coference Center, Miami University Hamilton

Phyllis Callahan currently serves as dean of Miami University’s College of Arts and Science. Faculty and staff reporting to the dean include 26 department chairs and eight program directors as well as directors of special centers and other personnel within Miami’s largest college. She oversees all curricular offerings in the College of Arts and Science, both undergraduate and graduate level. She manages a budget of $70 million. 

Callahan also serves on a number of committees, including Miami’s 2020 Plan (2012-2014), career services (2014) and retention committee (2012). Callahan began her tenure with Miami University in 1988 as assistant professor in the department of zoology, with a promotion to full professor in 1999. She also is affiliated with Miami’s women and gender studies program. She held positions of associate dean (2006-2008), senior associate dean (2008-2010) and interim dean (2011) prior to her appointment to dean in 2012.

Callahan received her bachelor’s of biological sciences in 1974 and her master’s degree in biological sciences in 1981 from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She received her doctorate of physiology and neurobiology from Rutgers University in 1986.

James Coleman

Nov. 17:
Oxford open forum, 4-4:50 p.m., 25 Farmer School of Business
Student forum, 5-5:50 p.m., East Commons, Farmer School of Business

Nov. 18:
Regional campuses open forum, 10-10:50 a.m., Rooms 136-137 Johnston Hall, Miami University Middletown

James Coleman has been dean and professor of biology at the College of Humanities and Sciences of Virginia Commonwealth University since 2011. The college enrolls approximately 14,000 students and teaches approximately 50 percent of the total credit hours at VCU. The college has approximately 400 full-time faculty members, more than 200 part-time faculty members and approximately 80 full-time staff members. Coleman manages a $52,000,000 general operating budget.

He previously served as vice provost for research and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Rice University from 2007-2011. Among other positions he was also vice chancellor for research, director of the office of research and professor of biological sciences at University of Missouri, Columbia, from 2003-2007 and vice president for research and business development, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nev., from 2000-2003. He received his doctorate from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 1987 and was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University 1987-1988 and a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University 1988-1990.

Neville Pinto

Nov. 20
Oxford open forum, 4-4:50 p.m., 128 Pearson Hall
Student forum, 5-5:50 p.m., East Commons, Farmer School of Business

Nov. 21
Regional campuses open forum, 10-10:50 a.m., Seminar Room 1, Wilks Conference Center, Miami University Hamilton

Neville Pinto has been dean of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering and a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Louisville since 2011. Prior to that he spent 26 years at the University of Cincinnati, where he served as head of chemical engineering, assistant dean for graduate studies in the College of Engineering and finally as vice provost and dean of the graduate school from 2006-2011.

As dean of engineering at Louisville, Pinto's major responsibilities include administering the school's bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs and its research portfolio; providing financial oversight for an annual budget of approximately $60 million and an $85 million endowment; leadership in strategic planning and implementation; faculty and staff development; fundraising; alumni development and outreach; and advocacy at the regional, state and federal levels. The engineering school has 1,900 undergraduate students, 675 graduate students and 105 faculty members. Pinto received his doctorate in chemical engineering from Penn State University.

Candidates' curriculum vitae are available at

Members of the Miami community are invited to submit feedback about the candidates. Please click on the links below to complete surveys.