photo of barb may

Barb May, Ph.D.

Provost and Senior Vice President, Saint Mary’s College

Barb has served within higher ed in a variety of roles. As a Biology professor, she was dedicated to the use of active learning and effective pedagogies to support student learning. She held several leadership positions as Chair of both the Faculty Handbook Committee and the Natural Science program, which was revamped under her leadership, and where she was also a leader in the reimagination of their general education program. Most recently, Barb has served as the Academic Dean at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (CSB/SJU). In this role, she oversaw their 37 majors and 40 minors and worked with over 250 faculty to support the academic student experience. She supported and led in the development of several new interdisciplinary programs that support the liberal arts as well as three new nursing graduate programs at CSB. She also oversaw CSB/SJU’s academic offices and programs. In her time as Academic Dean, Barb restructured these academic offices and programs to increase awareness, access, and use of these opportunities. For example, she has led in the creation of CSB/SJU’s new Experience Hub, which encompasses the Center for Global Education, Experience and Professional Development (the office that supports career development, internship best practices, and service learning), and Undergraduate Research and Scholarship to better support student participation in high-impact practices. Now at Saint Mary’s College, Barb looks forward to enhancing the undergraduate experience for ongoing development of women leaders and further supporting the graduate-level programming at Saint Mary’s.

Barb is a student-centered leader, and she collaborates with faculty and staff across the institution to identify and support opportunities to enhance the student experience. As an example, she brought together faculty and staff to create clear and coherent institutional learning goals that clarify the student outcomes at CSB/SJU. She has also led in the development of their First Year Experience (FYX) to better ensure that every student has the support and knowledge they need to begin their undergraduate career.