About the Provost

Marc Conner is the provost at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. As the chief academic officer, he is primarily responsible for the academic mission of the campus, including faculty hiring and development, curriculum, governance, technology, and operations. He serves as the direct supervisor of all academic units: Academic Deans (College, Williams, Law), Library, Registrar, Instructional Technology, University Athletics, International Education, Mudd Center for Ethics, Community Based Learning, Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity.

Conner joined the W&L faculty as an assistant professor of English in 1996. He was appointed associate provost in 2013, interim provost in January 2016, and provost in 2017. He received bachelor's degrees in English and philosophy at the University of Washington and his master's degree and Ph.D. in English literature at Princeton University.

His primary area of scholarship and teaching is diasporic modernism, both narrative and poetry, including Irish modernism, the modern American novel and African-American literature. He has published six books, ranging in topic from the work of Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Charles Johnson and James Joyce, as well as Irish film. In 2019 Random House published The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison, which Conner co-edited with John Callahan. Conner created the Spring Term program in Ireland and has accompanied W&L students to Ireland on ten occasions to experience the literature and culture there. In 2013, he published "How to Read and Understand Shakespeare," a collection of 24 audio and video lectures, as part of The Great Courses series. In 2016 he published "Irish Identity: Independence, History, and Literature," a 36-lecture course on Irish literature and history.

As associate provost, Conner directed first-year advising and orientation, new faculty orientation, and faculty teaching and learning workshops. He chaired the SACS 5-Year Interim Report Committee, the Spring Term Coordinating Committee, the University Committee on Campus Inclusiveness and Climate, the Learning Spaces Working Group, and the Community Engagement and Service Learning Advisory Committee. He also served as Director of the Spring Term, coordinating curriculum planning and assessment of the university's innovative four-week term, which has resulted in the creation of almost 300 new courses exclusively for the spring term.