Dr. J. William Berry
Executive Vice President and Provost
University of Dallas
J. William (Bill) Berry became provost of the University of Dallas in 2008 and executive
vice president in 2009. A native of Arkansas, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English
and history from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and a doctorate in history
from Princeton University.
Since joining the University of Dallas in 2008, he has led a student success initiative aimed at raising retention and graduation rates, improving job placement, and enhancing the competitiveness of students for prestigious awards. He has brought greater regularity to administrative processes, improved the university’s assessment efforts, and has built teams and fostered cooperation across colleges. UD has recruited four of the five largest classes in UD’s history. It has also gained accreditation of its business programs by AACSB, when two previous efforts had failed. He has served as liaison with seven-figure donors. Named executive vice president in 2009, he had interim responsibility (two years) for student affairs and athletics.
Prior to UD, he was provost at Butler University, where he led efforts that improved retention and graduation rates and helped raise over $50M in private funding. At the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, he led the initiative that increased the diversity of faculty, staff, and students. He also helped develop public-private partnerships in a variety of areas.
He previously served as provost of the University of Central Arkansas, where he provided leadership in the development of new programs, including UCA’s first doctoral program, and helped plan and supervise the building of a wide variety of capital construction projects. Prior to UCA, he taught history and was founding director of the honors program at Arkansas State University. There also he was founding director of international programs.
Prior to assuming administrative duties, he taught on the faculties of Princeton University and Mercer University. He has published in a variety of journals and is editor of two volumes on American memoir.