Social Work Dean Jim Clark named provost of Florida State University

Professor and Dean of the College of Social Work James J. Clark will begin his new role as Florida State University's provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs on Jan. 3, 2022.
Professor and Dean of the College of Social Work James J. Clark will begin his new role as Florida State University’s provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs on Jan. 3, 2022.

Florida State University President Richard McCullough announced today the appointment of Professor and Dean of the College of Social Work James J. Clark as the university’s next provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs.

Clark has served as professor and dean of FSU’s College of Social Work since July 2015. He starts as provost Jan. 3.

He succeeds Sally McRorie, who is returning to the faculty after seven years in the role. Clark was one of three finalists chosen by the 20-member Provost Selection Advisory Committee following an internal selection process.

“Jim Clark is an innovative thinker, noted scholar and researcher and effective administrator,” McCullough said. “His leadership experience, record of excellence and strategic vision make him the right choice to lead FSU’s academic enterprise. I’m looking forward to working closely with Jim to advance FSU’s strategic goals and continue our upward trajectory.”

As provost, Clark will serve as Florida State’s chief academic officer, the second-highest ranking officer at the university. He will oversee Academic Affairs, including all colleges, centers, institutes and academic services; the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement; The Graduate School; the Division of Undergraduate Studies; and The Ringling, the State Art Museum of Florida. In this role, Clark will work with the university’s deans, faculty and administrators to advance the academic mission of the university and strengthen the institution’s national and international reputation.

“It is an honor to be chosen as the next provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs of Florida State University — a university community I’ve grown to love through my experiences as dean of the College of Social Work,” Clark said. “Through university-wide collaborations I’ve come to appreciate the deep levels of talent, collaboration and commitment across the university. I’m excited to work with President McCullough, and I’m confident that we will elevate FSU to even greater heights.”

During Clark’s tenure, the College of Social Work has seen tremendous growth and increased its presence statewide and nationally through academics, research, outreach and service. The college has developed important centers and institutes in the areas of criminal justice research and development, family violence studies, trauma and resilience, substance use education, multidisciplinary assessment of children, and community-based innovations.

The FSU Student Resilience Project, created by the college through the Institute for Family Violence Studies and funded by the Office of the Provost, has gained national recognition for its role in helping students build coping and stress management skills. The web-based, research-informed toolkit is now available to universities nationwide through a commercial license.

Last year, the Florida Legislature appropriated $10 million in recurring funds to the college’s Florida Institute for Child Welfare to transform the state’s child welfare workforce and improve outcomes for children and families.

Beyond the College of Social Work, Clark plays an active role in many areas of the university. He holds a presidential appointment on the FSU Athletics Association Board and is a member of the Provost’s Healthy Campus Task Force and the FSU Health Data Sciences Initiative. He currently chairs the search committee for the new Vice President for Research and previously chaired the search committee that hired College of Fine Arts Dean James Frazier.

Before arriving at FSU, Clark served as professor and director of the School of Social Work in the University of Cincinnati’s College of Allied Health Sciences between 2012 and 2015.

Prior to his tenure at the University of Cincinnati, Clark held numerous faculty and administrative positions over 21 years at the University of Kentucky College of Social Work. He served as the Constance Wilson Professor of Mental Health from 2006 to 2012, associate dean for research from 2004 to 2012, and director of the doctoral program from 2002 to 2004. He also held a joint appointment as associate professor with the Department of Psychiatry in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine from 2000 to 2012.

Clark earned a doctorate in clinical social work from the University of Chicago in 1995, a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Kentucky in 1983 and a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Siena College in New York in 1980.

As a researcher, Clark works at the nexus of the justice, mental health, and child welfare systems. He has published in the areas of substance abuse, criminal justice, and child traumatic stress, and co-edited a book for the American Bar Association on best practices in death penalty mitigation.

Throughout his career, Clark has designed and provided behavioral health consultation and educational programs for judges, lawyers, and other court personnel. He served as a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Justice Committee from 2008 to 2012, as the lead member of the Council on Social Work Education’s National Research Integrity Workgroup from 2006 to 2012, and as an appointed member of the National Federation of Clinical Social Work’s Forensic Social Work Committee from 2003 to 2007.

Clark is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Association of Social Workers, the Council on Social Work Education, the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work, the Society for Personology and the Society for Social Work and Research.

Clark is married to Elizabeth Croney, a social worker and entrepreneur. They have three adult daughters: Cameron, Meg, and Pearson, who recently wed Pierre Tribolet.