Esteemed psychologist, university leader C. Cybele Raver named Vanderbilt provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs

C. Cybele Raver, a distinguished psychologist who serves as deputy provost at New York University, has been named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Vanderbilt University, Chancellor Daniel Diermeier announced today. Raver will begin her new role July 1, 2021.

C. Cybele Raver
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver (Vanderbilt University)

In NYU’s Office of the Provost, Raver has provided leadership for faculty, research and graduate student affairs for the past nine years and has played a key role in fostering interdisciplinary research across the university’s 19 schools and colleges. She also has served as the provost liaison overseeing NYU’s Center for Data Science, the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, as well as the Social Science Division and Graduate School within the university’s College of Arts & Science. During the past year, one of her main responsibilities has been helping lead NYU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including managing the university’s successful return to in-person classes in the fall.

Raver has been a faculty member at NYU for 13 years, most recently as a professor of applied psychology. Her research focuses primarily on early learning and development in the contexts of poverty and policy.

“Professor Cybele Raver is one of the most accomplished academic leaders working in higher education today. She has deep experience in graduate and undergraduate programs and shares Vanderbilt’s vision of wanting to usher in a new era of achievement,” Diermeier said. “I’m pleased to welcome her as provost and look forward to working together as we explore new ways to enhance learning and discovery at Vanderbilt.”

Raver was selected as the university’s chief academic officer after an extensive nationwide search by a committee, chaired by Diermeier, that included Board of Trust leaders, several deans and faculty members, and senior university administrators. Raver, who emerged as the leading candidate early in the search process, will succeed Susan R. Wente, who will  depart Vanderbilt on June 30 to become president of Wake Forest University.

“Professor Raver is an exceptional scholar with a proven history of building interdisciplinary research and teaching collaborations in ways that advance discovery and impact, making her the ideal next academic leader for Vanderbilt,” said Camilla Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Peabody College and a member of the search committee. “We are thrilled to welcome her both as provost and as an esteemed faculty colleague.”

Diermeier expressed his gratitude to the members of the committee for their guidance during the search. “The committee provided invaluable insights throughout the process,” he said, “and I’m very appreciative of the dedication they showed in finding the best possible candidate in Professor Raver.”

Before becoming deputy provost at NYU, Raver served as the university’s senior vice provost for academic analytics and graduate academic affairs, as well as its vice provost for faculty and research affairs. Within NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, she also has been director of the Institute for Education Sciences-funded Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program and the inaugural director of the Institute of Human Development and Social Change, which supports rigorous research and training across social, behavioral, educational, policy, communication and health sciences.

Before joining NYU’s faculty in 2007, Raver held faculty positions at University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and at Cornell University’s Department of Human Development.

“I’m excited and honored to be joining the Vanderbilt community,” said Raver, who holds a Ph.D. and a master’s in developmental psychology from Yale University and a bachelor’s from Harvard University. “My experience at NYU and elsewhere has taught me that, when you bring together scholars and students with diverse perspectives, there are limitless possibilities for collaboration and innovation—both in the classroom and outside of it. And from what I’ve already seen at Vanderbilt, I know it’s fertile ground for these types of breakthroughs.”

Raver’s program of research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, as well as by private entities such as the Spencer Foundation, McCormick-Tribune Foundation and MacArthur Foundation. Her research has garnered several prestigious awards, including from the American Psychological Association and the William T. Grant Foundation.

In addition to her work at NYU, Raver regularly advises local and federal government agencies and foundations on promoting healthy development and learning among children from birth to third grade. She serves on several boards of community agencies and initiatives and served on the board of directors of the Spencer Foundation.