Rebecca Kohn, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Rebecca Kohn joined Elon University as provost and vice president for academic affairs in January 2023 after serving as senior vice provost and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania. She is an accomplished scholar and researcher in the field of biology and arrived at Elon with more than 20 years of academic and administrative experience. Throughout her career, Kohn has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in teaching, student success and innovation in higher education.
Kohn joined the faculty at Arcadia in 2017 as dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences and was named interim provost and special assistant to the president the following year. She became vice provost for academic planning and faculty affairs in 2019 and then took on the role of senior vice provost in 2022 while continuing to serve as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Kohn holds a doctorate in biology from Johns Hopkins University, where she explored transcriptional regulation, and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Dartmouth College.
During her time at Arcadia, Kohn was deeply involved in the development of new academic programs. She provided support for the growth of existing disciplines and advanced collaboration across academic and co-curricular areas. Kohn has received several million dollars in grant funding during her career and at Arcadia led the implementation of a program to support the retention of low-income students funded by a $2.25 million grant. She co-chaired the president’s Student Experience Task Force and contributed to the development of the new Division of Student Success at Arcadia.
As a higher education administrator, Kohn has played a vital role in building a culture that supports faculty success and helps ensure faculty members have clear paths for scholarly, professional and pedagogical development. With teams of colleagues, she provided leadership for two of Arcadia’s anti-Black racism initiatives, including the establishment of a Center for Anti-Racist Scholarship, Advocacy and Action, and was part of the president’s commission tasked with reviewing the university’s policies and practices through the lens of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
As dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Arcadia, she led academic programs in 10 departments made up of 26 academic units serving both undergraduate and graduate students, and was involved in strategic initiatives to expand graduate enrollment and increase the number of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Before joining Arcadia College, Kohn spent 18 years as a member of the faculty at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, where she achieved the status of full professor of biology. As a Fulbright Fellow in 2007, she developed a collaborative research program at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile. While a postdoctoral fellow at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City, she developed a neuroscience research program, including experiments designed to be accessible to undergraduate researchers.
Kohn and her spouse, Rick, have two sons.