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Monts continues as senior counselor to president

President Mary Sue Coleman has announced that Lester Monts will continue his appointment as senior counselor to the president for the arts, diversity and undergraduate affairs.

Monts (Photo by Marcia Ledford, U-M Photo Services)

"I am greatly pleased that Lester Monts has agreed to continue in this role,” Coleman says. "Enhancing the experience of our undergraduate students, striving to create a diverse and mutually respectful community and building upon our excellence in arts and culture are efforts of great importance to the University. I am deeply committed to them as president. Lester has done a tremendous job in advancing these efforts in his role as senior counselor. He is an excellent member of the president’s leadership team, and I look forward to working with him in carrying forward the Undergraduate Initiative and addressing matters related to the arts and diversity.”

Monts, who was appointed by former Interim President B. Joseph White, will take the lead on implementing the Undergraduate Initiative, following up on the report of the President’s Commission on the Undergraduate Experience issued last year. He will continue advising the president on matters related to diversity and the arts on campus. Monts also continues in the position of senior vice provost for academic affairs.

As senior vice provost, Monts assists on matters related to budget, tenure and promotion, enrollment, and a broad range of academic issues. He oversees the operation of several academic units, including the Arts at Michigan Program, the Center for Research in Learning and Teaching, the offices of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, New Student Programs, Examinations and Evaluations, the Registrar, Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Information Systems, and the Army, Navy and Air Force officer training programs.

Monts received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Arkansas Polytechnic College, a master of music degree in trumpet performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a doctorate in musicology from the University of Minnesota. He has focused his scholarly research on the musical and cultural systems among the Vai people of Liberia and is regarded as one of the world’s leading scholars on music and culture in the Guinea Coast region of West Africa.

Monts served on the President’s Commission on the Undergraduate Experience. His board memberships include the College Board Academic Assembly Council, chair of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation Diversity Officers, the Advisory Committee of the United Negro College Fund’s Patterson Research Institute, the Academic Assembly Council of the College Board, Visiting Committee of the Harvard University Department of Music, the Board of Trustees of the University Musical Society and the editorial board of the University of Michigan Press.

For more information on the President’s Commission on the Undergraduate Experience, visit

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