Provost, Virginia State University

Donald E. Palm III, Ph.D., joined the Virginia State University (VSU) Trojan Family on August 1, 2016, and currently serves as the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. 

As the Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at VSU, Dr. Palm brings more than two decades of successful and innovative higher education experience to the Trojan Family.  He provides strategic, intellectual and administrative leadership for the academic enterprise of the institution while ensuring that the University achieves increasingly higher levels of academic excellence, rigor, and recognition.

During the 2017 -2018 academic year, Dr. Palm led VSU through a successful reaffirmation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOCO) to secure the institutions’ accreditation for the next 10 years.    

During the 2018 – 2019 academic year, he spearheaded the planning, process and board approval of the university’s five (5) year strategic plan “Preeminence with Purpose 2020 -2025”.   

The Pittsburgh Pennsylvania native earned a (B.A.) Degree in Chemistry from Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) and a (Ph.D.) in Pharmacology from Pennsylvania State University (Hershey Medical School).

His postdoctoral research training was completed at Brown University in the Department of Neurosurgery/Neuroscience with a research focus on homeostatic regulation of the brain following traumatic neuronal injury.   He has successfully secured more than five million dollars for STEM Education support, Research Program Support and his primary research focus on Neurodegeneration. He has served as a major advisor for several doctoral students and has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles in the field of Neuroscience.

Dr. Palm received executive leadership training with the Harvard Institute for Higher Education Management Development Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition, he is a 2011-2012 American Council of Education (ACE), Fellow. 

He resides in Chester Virginia with his wife Nekisha and his three children Brandon (Howard Class of 2015), Qu’Riya (VSU Class of 2022) and Donovan.