New Provost and VP of Academic Affairs Appointed


DSU President Harry L. Williams has appointed Dr. Alton Thompson of North Carolina A&T as the new provost and vice president of Academic Affairs of Delaware State University.

Dr. Thompson comes to DSU after serving from July 2008 to the present as the interim provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at North Carolina A&T (NCA&T). He served as the dean and executive director of agricultural programs in NCA&T’s School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences from 2000-2008. Prior to that, he served from 1991 to 2000 as a professor and chairperson in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Education, and Rural Sociology at NCA&T. Previously, Dr Thompson was a faculty member at North Carolina State University and Norfolk State University.

    Dr. Alton Thompson

Dr. Thompson’s academic specialty is in the interface of statistics, research methods, demography, and rural sociology. His research has resulted in the publication of 25 articles in refereed journals, seven book chapters and a book titled Quality of Life among Rural Residents in North Carolina: Community and Life Satisfaction (1985). His research focus includes agromedicine, rural poverty/development, labor economics, and structure of agriculture. Dr. Thompson’s grantsmanship has resulted in more than $5 million in extra-mural research funds for the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at NCA&T.

“Dr. Thompson is well respected in agriculture academia circles and has distinguished himself in research, grant-writing and as an author,” Dr. Williams said. “He will strengthen the University’s trajectory to higher levels of academic excellence.”

Dr. Thompson has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from North Carolina Central University, a Master of Science in Sociology/Demography and a Ph.D. in Rural Sociology/Demography, both from The Ohio State University.

Currently, Dr. Thompson is the chairperson of the Administrative Heads Section of the Board of Agriculture Assembly for the Association of Public and State Universities, as well as of the 1890 Council of Deans of Agriculture, Carolina Farm Credit Board of Directors, the Rural Advancement Fund International Board of Directors and the USDA – National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board. Recently, Dr. Thompson was inducted into the USDA/Cooperative State, Research, Education and Extension Service Hall of Fame.

“I am delighted to be a member of the senior leadership team at DSU as we work collaboratively with a talented faculty to operationalize and execute the new vision for the University, centered on a standard of academic excellence, Dr. Thompson said. “As an 1890 land grant university with a rich heritage, I look forward to engaging the faculty and staff in advancing the tripartite mission of learning, discovery and engagement in very strategic and intentional ways.”

Dr. Thompson is married to Dr. Cynthia Carlton Thompson, a professor of Graphics Communications in the School of Technology at NCA&T. They have one daughter, Melanie, and one granddaughter, Makiya.