Alabama A&M University has announced the appointment of Dr. Lena Walton as the Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, effective January 1, 2022. Dr. Walton currently serves as the dean of the College of Education, Humanities and Behavioral Sciences. This selection follows the recent announcement that Dr. Daniel Wims, former provost and vice president of academic affairs and research, has been appointed the 12th President of Alabama A&M University, also effective January 1, 2022.
Dr. Walton has almost 30 years of experience in higher education, and she began her career in higher education as a lecturer and, subsequently, as senior lecturer in the College of Agriculture, Science and Education, Port Antonio, Jamaica, West Indies. She has served as the dean of the College of Education, Humanities and Behavioral Sciences at AAMU since 2017. Under her leadership, the College has enjoyed several accomplishments, including continued accreditation of the educator preparation programs with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, Social Work programs with the Council on Social Work Education, and the Communicative Sciences and Disorders programs with the American Speech- Language Hearing Association.
Walton’s leadership has also boosted growth in faculty acquisition of external funding, scholarly productivity of faculty and the improvement of learning spaces for students. She was instrumental in advocating for greater attention to the need for greater representation of minority teachers in Alabama’s P-12 schools, resulting in the state-funded pilot project “Alabama Recruit and Retain Minority Teachers,” out of which grew the Males for Alabama Education (MALE) program at AAMU and a partnership with Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchEd) and Madison County Public Schools to grow a diverse group of P-12 teachers who are highly qualified and classroom ready to practice inclusion and equity in their daily teaching duties.
Prior to assuming the position of dean at AAMU, Dr. Walton served as assistant and associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia. During her 15 years of service as a faculty, chair, and assistant and associate dean at UDC, Dr. Walton was known for her leadership in accomplishing specific program accreditations and regional accreditation (Middle States Commission on Higher Education) at the University, and for her grantsmanship.
Academic Affairs is the largest division at AAMU, consisting of four academic colleges; the School of Graduate Studies; Distance Education and Continuing Studies and Instructional Technology; the Freshman Academy, and numerous student and faculty support units and departments. The University offers more than 68 majors across 15 academic departments with personalized educational experiences from 372 total faculty members.
Dr. Walton is a thought leader, innovator, and faculty and student advocate. She earned a Trained Teacher Diploma at Shortwood Teachers’ College, Kingston, Jamaica; a bachelor’s degree in secondary science education from the University of the West Indies Mona Jamaica; and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in elementary education from The University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Walton has been married to her husband, Joseph Walton, for 28 years and has two children, Jovena and Alexander.