The Provost is the university's chief academic officer and under the president is
responsible for the creation and implementation of the academic priorities for the
David A. Vanko, Ph.D., is the Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic
Affairs at Towson University. As the chief academic officer of the university, he
oversees 125 degree programs (undergraduate, master’s and four doctorate), and supports
more than 23,000 students, 1,700 faculty, and more than 200 staff and administrators.
Dr. Vanko provides leadership for seven colleges, the Office of Graduate Studies,
and the Albert S. Cook Library. As interim provost, he facilitates University and
Academic Affairs strategic planning, implements budget and resource allocation plans,
guides and oversees innovations in academic technology, promotes faculty excellence
and student success, and supports curricular and program distinction.
Dr. Vanko was appointed Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic
Affairs at Towson University effective July 1, 2018. He has been the Acting Dean,
then Dean, of the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics since
2007. Before that, Dr. Vanko served as Professor and Chairperson in the Department
of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences beginning in 2001.
Dr. Vanko attended Johns Hopkins University and then earned his Ph.D. in Geological
Sciences from Northwestern University. After a post-doctoral position at Washington
University in St. Louis, he moved to Atlanta where he was a faculty member for 18
years at Georgia State University.
Dr. Vanko’s research area is the geology of deep sea volcanoes and mid-ocean ridges.
He has spent 405 days at sea on a variety of research vessels using dredging, multibeam
sonar mapping, deep sea drilling, and manned and unmanned submersibles. He has made
five dives in DSRV Alvin, to a maximum depth of 3,500 meters. His research is published in 43 peer-reviewed
journal articles and book chapters, and he has received 14 grants from the National
Science Foundation and more than 15 grants from a variety of other sources.
Dr. Vanko chairs the Maryland State Geologic Mapping Advisory Committee for the Maryland
Geological Survey, Department of Natural Resources, and he serves on the Scientific
and Technical Working Group for the Maryland Commission on Climate Change. He was
appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley as the chairperson of the Maryland Governor’s
Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission, which worked from 2011
to 2015 to advise the Governor and the legislature on state policy regarding the possible
use of hydraulic fracturing to recover natural gas in Western Maryland.