Constance Ewing Cook

Former Associate Vice Provost of the University of Michigan; Former Executive Director, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT); Clinical Professor Emerita, School of Education; Adjunct Associate Professor of Political Science

Constance Ewing Cook, School of Education

Dr. Constance E. Cook retired from the University of Michigan (UM) in February 2014 after serving for 20 years as Executive Director of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT). CRLT was the first teaching center in the nation ( and is often regarded nationally and internationally as a model university center for faculty development. Under Dr. Cook, CRLT ran eight grants competitions, developed a university-wide program on assessment and evaluation, fostered inclusive teaching and learning, ran hundreds of customized orientations and workshops for both faculty and grad students, facilitated the use of IT in the classroom, and created the CRLT Players, a theatre company performing for faculty on teaching and learning, and faculty work life issues. Dr. Cook is the editor of the book Advancing the Culture of Teaching on Campus: How a Teaching Center Can Make a Difference (Stylus Publishing, 2011). In 2013, she received the lifetime achievement award from her national professional association, POD (Professional and Organizational Development), for outstanding leadership in the enhancement of teaching, learning, and faculty development.  

Dr. Cook also served as U-M Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. In that role, she created a university-wide professional development program for department chairs and deans, and separately, for international higher education leaders. She has worked extensively with the Chinese Ministry of Education to improve administration and pedagogy in the top-ranked Chinese universities, as well as consulting with many individual Chinese research universities.

Additionally, Dr. Cook has consulted for Yale University, Columbia University, University of Texas at Austin, the University of Virginia, the University of Chicago, Miami University, Iowa State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Emory University, Jazan University (Saudi Arabia), the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the American Council on Education (ACE).

Dr. Cook is Clinical Professor Emerita in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education of the U-M School of Education and was also Adjunct Associate Professor of Political Science. She has written two books concerning American political interest groups and advocacy: Lobbying for Higher Education: How Colleges and Universities Influence Federal Policy (Vanderbilt University Press, 1998), and Nuclear Power and Legal Advocacy: The Environmentalists and the Courts (D.C. Heath/Lexington Books, 1980). At Michigan, she taught graduate seminars on two topics: Public Policy in Higher Education and Improving Teaching in Higher Education. 

Prior to becoming Director of CRLT, Dr. Cook served as executive assistant to the president of the University of Michigan from 1990-1993, and before that was coordinator of the FIPSE (the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education) Comprehensive Program at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.  From 1979-1986, Dr. Cook taught political science at Albion College in Michigan, where she chaired the Political Science Department.  She received a B.A. from Barnard College, an M.A. from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. from Boston University, all in political science.

Dr. Cook and her husband have two adult children and four grandchildren. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Ann Arbor YMCA and serves on the Advisory Committee of Girls Group and the Patient Advisory Board of the U-M Health System. Additionally, she is a member of the Glacier Hills Legacy Fund Advisory Committee of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, which distributes funding for senior services. Under the auspices of Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, she teaches a weekly citizenship course for immigrants.

Academic Affairs and Student Development
Higher Education
Higher Education and Master of Public Policy (Dual Degree)
Public Policy in Postsecondary Education



Research Affiliations


1071 Palmer Commons


Curriculum Vitae