Cybele Raver appointed as Vanderbilt’s new Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Raver will officially assume her position on July 1, 2021, replacing current Provost Susan R. Wente.


Portrait of Cybele Raver. (Photo curtesy of New York University)

Rachael Perrotta, Deputy News Editor

Chancellor Daniel Diermeier announced today that C. Cybele Raver will be Vanderbilt’s next Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs as of July 1, 2021, replacing current Provost Susan R. Wente. 

“Professor Cybele Raver is one of the most accomplished academic leaders working in higher education today,” Diermeier said. “She has deep experience in graduate and undergraduate programs and shares Vanderbilt’s vision of wanting to usher in a new era of achievement.”

Raver has served as Deputy Provost and a faculty member at New York University (NYU) for nine and 13 years, respectively. She expressed her excitement about becoming part of the Vanderbilt community.

“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,” Raver said. “From what I’ve already seen at Vanderbilt, I know it’s fertile ground for these types of breakthroughs.”

A committee of Board of Trust leaders, deans, faculty members and university administrators selected Raver for the position after an international search for a new provost began in February 2021. 

Diermeier, who led the search committee, said that he appreciated the work of committee members throughout the selection process.  

“The committee provided invaluable insights throughout the process,” he said. “I’m very appreciative of the dedication they showed in finding the best possible candidate in Professor Raver.”

Camilla Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Peabody College and a member of the search committee, commented about Raver’s appointment to provost.

“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,” Benbow said. “We are thrilled to welcome her both as provost and as an esteemed faculty colleague.”

As Deputy Provost, Raver has spearheaded research endeavors across NYU’s 19 schools and colleges. Specifically, she has overseen NYU’s Center for Data Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Science, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the Social Science Division and Graduate School. Most recently, Raver has assisted with NYU’s Return to Campus plan in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition to being Deputy Provost, Raver taught applied psychology at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. She has also held positions as NYU’s Senior Vice Provost for Academic Analytics and Graduate Academic Affairs, Vice Provost for Faculty and Research Affairs, Director of the Institute for Education Sciences-funded Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program (IES-PIRT) and the Inaugural Director of the Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC).

Raver graduated from Harvard University in 1986 with Bachelor’s degrees in visual and environmental studies and psychology and Yale University in 1994 with a Ph.D. in developmental psychology. Prior to joining NYU’s staff in 2007, she worked at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and Cornell University’s Department of Human Development. 

Outside of NYU, Raver conducts research concerning the effects of poverty and policy on childhood learning and development. Her work has been funded by various organizations, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Institute (NSI) and the Spencer Foundation, for which she served on the Board of Directors.

Aligning with her research, Raver collaborates with local and national organizations to ensure young children are experiencing healthy learning and development.