Senior Administrators

Provost and Executive Vice President For Academic Affairs

Karen BjorkmanKaren Bjorkman, Ph.D.


Dr. Karen Bjorkman was named provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at The University of Toledo in January 2020, after serving in the role for one year on an interim basis.

Since December 2010, she had served as Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and in 2015 was named as the inaugural holder of the Helen Luedtke Brooks Endowed Professorship in Astronomy.  She is also a Distinguished University Professor.

Bjorkman is an astronomer and astrophysicist who became fascinated with science, and particularly astronomy, as a child watching the Apollo moon landings in real time on grainy black and white TV images.

She obtained her B.S. in physics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, worked for several years at an aerospace company as a systems engineer, and then returned to graduate school for her M.S. and doctorate in astrophysics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

In addition to her research, Dr. Bjorkman has provided significant service to the international astronomical community, and has been heavily involved in education and public outreach.  She regularly gives public talks on astronomy, space, and science, and she was the original founder of the long-running “Universe in the Parks” program at the University of Wisconsin.

She is a co-founder of the Northwestern Ohio chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) at UToledo. Her awards include a Cottrell Scholar Award, the Sigma Xi/Dion D. Raftopolous Award for Outstanding Research, a UToledo Outstanding Teaching Award, three NASA Group Achievement Awards, and an Ohio Excellence in Education award.

Last Updated: 2/27/20