University unveils first provost candidate

Antonio Dwayne Tillis will participate in a public forum on campus Tuesday.

Provost Karen Hanson addresses the opening of the

Jack Rodgers

Provost Karen Hanson addresses the opening of the “We Are Water” exhibit on Friday, Sept. 12, at the Institute on the Environment.

Dylan Anderson

 Antonio Dwayne Tillis, current dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston, is the first of four candidates vying for the job as the University of Minnesota’s next executive vice president and provost.

Tillis, who has experience teaching Hispanic studies and African American studies, will participate in a public forum on campus on Tuesday. He graduated with a degree in Spanish from Vanderbilt University in 1987 and earned his masters in Spanish from Howard University in 1995. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in Latin American literature with an Afro-Hispanic emphasis in 2000.

Before joining the University of Houston in 2017, Tillis served as dean of the School of Languages, Culture and World Affairs at the College of Charleston, according to his curriculum vitae, a more comprehensive version of a resume often used in academia.

Tillis has written several books and specializes in Latin American, Afro-American and African diaspora literature.  

When Tillis started at the University of Houston in 2017, he said he was attracted to Houston because of its “commitment to academic excellence, its diverse student population as well as its mission to be a premier academic institution.”

The public forum is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday on the fourth floor of Northrop Auditorium. The forum will also be streamed online.

Three more forums are scheduled in the following two weeks with the other candidates. Their identities will be released the day before their prospective forum.