Amy Dittmar is a distinguished scholar with an extensive background in economics, finance and university administration. She is the provost, as well as a professor of finance with Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business and a professor of economics with the School of Social Sciences.
As provost, Dittmar oversees Rice’s academic enterprise, including direct reporting relationships for the deans of eight schools, the dean of undergraduates, the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies and other key leaders. Dittmar is co-leading a transformation of the university’s budget process. She chairs the university’s strategic planning committee.
Dittmar is focused on opportunities for growth with an expanding student body, more faculty members and several capital projects to support the university’s research and educational mission. She already has increased support for graduate students by increasing stipends. She also has added resources to attract and retain faculty.
Prior to Rice, Dittmar held a series of top-level administrative roles at the University of Michigan. In 2019, she served as acting provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Dittmar was the chief academic and budgetary officer with direct reporting relationships for the deans of 19 schools and colleges as well as other key staff. From 2020 and 2022, she served as senior vice provost. In that position, she oversaw policy decisions and implemented a wide range of strategic, academic and budgetary initiatives. From 2016 to 2020, she served as the vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs.
Dittmar held a number of other administrative and academic roles in Michigan. She served as a board member and secretary of the Michigan Health Corp., chair of a behavioral science research initiative task force, co-chair of the Student Mental Health and Well-Being Implementation Committee and a board member of the Michigan Mobility Transportation Center.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance and business economics from Indiana University and her Ph.D. in finance from the University of North Carolina. She is a scholar of corporate finance, governance and gender economics. Her research centers around studying the complex interactions between ownership, governance, individual preferences and financial structure in public and private organizations to understand the role of incentives in decision-making and performance. She served as an associate editor at the Journal of Financial Economics, one of the top journals in the field. She also served as a councilor for the Society for Financial Studies. The society oversees three top finance journals, including the Review of Financial Studies.
Dittmar was appointed the prestigious Michael R. and Mary Kay Hallman Fellow at Michigan from 2012-2015. She was a finalist for the Brattle Prize, which is awarded for the best papers in the Journal of Finance, for corporate finance in 2007. She won the Law and Economics Consulting Group Award for Best Paper in Corporate Finance at the 2007 European Finance Association Conference. She also won Best Paper at the 2001 Financial Management Association European Conference. Dittmar has published numerous papers in top journals, and her work has been cited more than 10,000 times.
Before her career at the University of Michigan, Dittmar was an assistant professor at Indiana University and a financial analyst and real estate officer at First Chicago Corp. (now part of JPMorgan Chase).
Dittmar’s husband, Robert, is a professor of finance at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business. Their daughter Abby is earning her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Florida State University, and their son Graham is studying at the Culinary Institute of America in New York.