About the interim Vice Provost

Robert G. Crane, Ph.D. is the interim Vice Provost for Global Programs at Penn State and Professor of Geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. As interim Vice Provost, Dr. Crane provides leadership for all Penn State’s global engagements, including hosting thousands of international students from more than 140 countries, sending thousands of domestic students to more than 285 study abroad programs overseas, and building strategic partnerships with global institutions from around the world.

Dr. Crane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, and MA and PhD degrees in Geography from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Prior to joining Penn State in 1985, Dr. Crane was a visiting professor in Geography at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and a Research Associate in The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

Dr. Crane’s early research was on the microwave remote sensing of sea ice and on ice-climate interactions in the Arctic. Soon after joining Penn State, he developed a research program in regional scale climate change and, together with a doctoral student (Bruce Hewitson), produced the earliest work on the statistical downscaling of global climate models for regional scale applications. Since then, he has continued to work with Hewitson and others on climate change impacts, predominantly in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa.  His research has been funded primarily by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Dr. Crane previously held several administrative and governance positions at Penn State, including serving as Associate Dean for Education and interim Dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. In addition to being interim Vice Provost, he currently serves as the Associate Vice Provost for Global Programs. He also served as the Associate Director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, and Director of the Alliance for Education, Science, Engineering and Development in Africa. In addition, Dr. Crane has served Penn State University as a member and chair of committees at all levels (Departmental, College and University). He chaired the 2008/2009 University Strategic Planning Council Task Force on Internationalization that led to the University’s current strategy for global engagement.