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Arts at the Core
Lester P. Monts
Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Michigan
Lester P. Monts is the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Senior Counselor to the President for the Arts, Diversity and Undergraduate Affairs, and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Monts received the B.A. degree in Music from Arkansas Polytechnic College, the Masters degree in trumpet performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Ph.D. degree in Musicology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Monts has served on the music faculties of Edinboro University, University of Minnesota, Case Western Reserve University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. From 1988 to 1993, he served as dean of undergraduate affairs in the College of Letters and Science, where he directed Santa Barbara's undergraduate honors program. Monts 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. His book, Vai Musical Language, is published by the Societe d'Etudes Linguistiques et Anthropologiques de France. He has published in numerous scholarly journals, and presented his research at the conferences of many national and international learned societies.
A professional trumpeter, Monts has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. Monts holds memberships in the African Studies Association, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Liberian Studies Association, and the College Music Society. His former roles with the College Board have included service to the Academic Assembly Council as Midwestern regional representative and chair, and chair of the Board of Trustees. Governor Jennifer Granholm recently appointed Monts to the Michigan Higher Education Assistance Authority.