Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Strategic University Initiatives
205 Administration Building
Dr. Michelle Cook has served as Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Strategic University Initiatives since 2017. In this role, she plans and implements programs that span units across campus while also providing strategic leadership to the Office of Institutional Diversity, where she previously served as associate provost.
Cook is co-facilitating the development of the University's 2025 Strategic Plan and works with academic and administrative units across campus to support institutional initiatives such as textbook affordability, the New Approaches to Promote Diversity and Inclusion grants program, which is sponsored by the President’s Office, and promoting female leadership development. She also chairs the university’s Diversity Advisory Council.
During her tenure as associate provost, UGA has received national recognition for its work in diversity, earning the INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for four consecutive years. The University’s Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion for faculty and staff also has been recognized as a national model. Cook is a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) and has served as Secretary and President of the Georgia Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (GADOHE).
Cook has played a vital role in elevating the recruitment, retention and success of underrepresented minority students on campus. Since 2005, she has been the co-principal investigator on the National Science Foundation-funded Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program, which has helped quadruple the number of degrees conferred to underrepresented minorities in STEM fields at UGA. She is co-principal investigator for the National Science Foundation funded Bridge to the Doctorate grant, which provides funding for underrepresented students in STEM at the graduate level. Cook also serves as principal investigator for the African American Male Initiative grant, which is funded by the University System of Georgia.
Prior to being named associate provost in 2011, Cook served as an associate dean in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, where she was responsible for student academic affairs. She oversaw the college’s Office of Academic Advising, Graduation Certification Office, and launched the Office for Transfer Academic Success. She is an affiliate faculty member in the Institute for African American Studies and the Institute for Women’s Studies. She also is a member of the Foot Soldiers Project faculty. Cook was the inaugural dean of the Franklin Residential College, where she served for three years, and was a 2008 faculty-in-residence at the UGA Oxford program in Oxford, England.
Cook holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton University, a master’s degree in African-American Studies from Yale University and a doctorate in history from Duke University.