Dr. Alton Thompson is the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Delaware State University (DSU). As DSU’s chief academic officer, he oversees all operations related to academic planning and budgeting; program evaluation, assessment and accreditation; educational policies and procedures; professional development; promotion and tenure of faculties, and strategic planning. His collaborative, energetic and enthusiastic style of leadership has elevated all aspects of the University related to teaching, learning, scholarship and research.
Prior to joining Delaware State in July 2010, Thompson was a tenured professor and dean and executive director for Agricultural Programs in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at North Carolina A&T State University for eight years and then served as interim provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for two years. He earned his bachelor’s degree at North Carolina Central University and his master’s and doctorate from The Ohio State University.
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 entitled “Quality of Life among Rural Residents in North Carolina: Community and Life Satisfaction." His research focus includes agromedicine, rural poverty/development, labor economics, and the structure of agriculture. Thompson’s grantsmanship has resulted in more than $5.5 million in extra-mural research funds.
Thompson was inducted into the USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2010 and he has also served in leadership roles on the Board of Agriculture Assembly for the Association of Public and State Universities, the 1890 Council of Deans of Agriculture, the Ford Foundation’s Rural Economic Policy Program, Census of Agriculture Advisory Panel of the National Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, and the Southern Governors’ Southern Growth Policies Board. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Carolina Farm Credit and the Rural Advancement Fund International. These combined experiences provide him with a depth of understanding of the issues facing the colleges and divisions at Delaware State University.