Dr. Risa Palm assumed the role of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, beginning Sept. 1, 2009. Prior to that she served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York. Palm received both a B.A. degree in history, with a minor in French, and a B.S. degree in social studies education from the University of Minnesota. She subsequently received an M.A. degree in geography from the same institution. In 1972, she was awarded a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota. She has held tenured positions at the rank of professor in departments of geography at the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Louisiana State University.
Her research interests are in urban geography, and she has done extensive work on the topics of natural hazards response and urban housing. Palm's prior administrative positions include Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Dean of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at the Louisiana State University.
Palm is married to David Greenland, Ph.D., a professor of climatology. They have one son, Dr. John Greenland, Ph.D., M.D. She also enjoys playing Baroque chamber music on the harpsichord.