Biography

With 25 years of experience in higher education, including as an esteemed professor of history, dean of social sciences, and provost, Andrew A. Workman, Ph.D., became interim president of Roger Williams University in July 2018.

President Workman at CommencementHe is an accomplished researcher with an extensive list of published works, many focused on history and policy from the United States during the President Franklin D. Roosevelt era. His teaching and research fields include 20th century U.S. history; intellectuals and public policy; labor history; African American history since Emancipation; and the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and social theory earned in 1983 from New College of Florida, Provost Workman holds both master’s and doctoral degrees in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

President Workman joined RWU in 2012 as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. As Provost, he led the development of key infrastructure to expand experiential learning as the cornerstone of a Roger Williams education. In addition to substantially increasing funding for undergraduate research and internships, he helmed the initiative to guarantee that every qualified student will participate in a transformative civic-engagement opportunity. By bringing the Community Partnerships Center into Academic Affairs, he expanded the program’s service capacity, enabling more than two-thirds of each graduating class to complete a semester-long interdisciplinary that empowers them to put their knowledge and skills to work solving real-world problems with community partners.

In 2014, he co-led a year-long visioning project that defined the core values and charted a new mission for Roger Williams University – to “build the university the world needs now.” From that process, he developed a five-year Academic Strategic Plan that advanced a campus-wide diversity initiative, significantly expanded the mission and programs at University College, developed a partnership with Samsung USA to bring cutting-edge cloud-based technology to our students, re-envisioned and improved learning spaces.

Throughout his tenure as Provost, he led a multifaceted effort significantly enhancing student support services. By improving the First Year Experience initiative and developing the Living Learning Community program, he ensured that Roger Williams provides a supportive community and network of resources to help freshmen navigate their transition to college successfully. He unified support services into a Center for Student Academic Success, and redesigned career services into a Center for Career and Professional Development that connects career preparation, advising and alumni affairs. He created the Center for Assessment, Learning, Teaching and Technology to support improved learning outcomes assessment, instructional design and technologies, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. With enhancements to the degree-completion advising program and the launch of a tracking and response system, he enabled greater student retention and graduation success, increasing the four-year graduation rate by 10 percent.

Prior to joining RWU, President Workman held several positions at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., including as a professor of history, dean of social sciences, associate provost for academic affairs and vice provost.

As Mills’ vice provost starting in 2007, he led a five-year undertaking to transform the school’s first-year experience and advising programs – an effort that resulted in a 10 percent increase in first- to second-year retention rate – as well as a taskforce that overhauled the college’s tuition, financial aid and recruitment strategy and increased enrollment and tuition revenue by more than 25 percent. He played a lead role in doubling the number of faculty research proposals at Mills and increasing total sponsored research from $8 million to $20 million. In addition, he expanded academic support resources for undergraduates, creating a peer tutoring program and integrating it with writing and testing to form a new Center for Academic Excellence.

A community servant and engaged member of the Oakland community, President Workman co-led Words that Made America, a program for teaching history in two Northern California school districts. He is also founder and director of the Oakland Living History Program, which partners with community groups to produce oral histories on the city’s neighborhoods and communities.

President Workman was named to the Council of Independent Colleges and American Academic Leadership Institute’s Executive Leadership Academy in 2015-16. In 2005, he earned the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association Award for Teaching Excellence.