Office of the Provost
ATLANTA – Mary Beth Walker, associate provost for strategic initiatives and innovation at Georgia State University since 2017, will join California State University, Northridge as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs on July 1.
Walker has been interim president of Georgia Gwinnett College since January 2019.
A professor of economics at Georgia State, she has made significant contributions to the university through multiple leadership roles.
In her role as associate provost, Walker has led several high-profile initiatives, including the Next Generation Program, which has built interdisciplinary, pioneering research clusters at the university. The program recently announced its fourth round of research themes, including scholarship in artificial intelligence, imaging technologies and quantum science.
She has also led the university-wide expansion of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, which provides experiential learning to those passionate about creating their own businesses, working for a startup or bringing entrepreneurial skills to an existing organization.
Walker has also taken a leadership role with the Commission on the Next Generation of Faculty, working to identify challenges and opportunities for addressing faculty diversity, equity and inclusion.
From 2010-17, she was dean of the university’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. As dean, she oversaw the increase in externally funded research grants awarded to the school and the development of interdisciplinary academic programs. She also integrated the School of Social Work and the department of Criminal Justice and Criminology into the Andrew Young School.
Walker co-chaired the committee for updates to the university’s 2011-16/21 strategic plan, a roadmap for important initiatives and priorities at Georgia State.
Her research interests center on quantitative evaluation of policy, including tax policy and labor market issues. In recent years, she has focused research efforts towards education economics, including research into the four-day school week that has garnered significant media attention.