Tara Natarajan

Tara Natarajan, Ph.D.

Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs; Professor of Economics

Email:[email protected]

Location: 156A Carpenter Hall

About me

I joined Earlham on Februry 1 2022 as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and serve the college as its chief academic officer. Prior to joining Earlham, I worked at Saint Michael’s College, a four-year residential liberal arts institution in Colchester Vermont for twenty years both as a faculty member and then as dean of the faculty in academic administration. I am a broadly trained economist and I have over two decades of teaching experience with a commitment to outstanding classroom instruction and a strong record of published scholarship together with progressive leadership experience culminating in academic administration. Some of my core accomplishments as dean were in assessment, program reviews, faculty searches with direct focus on DEI, recruitment and retention, faculty development programs, orientation and tenure workshops, academic planning during covid and providing leadership for academic innovations and new program development. Together with the director of institutional research, I redesigned and implemented the institutional process of assessment for the gen ed curriculum. I also bring extensive experience in conducting pre-tenure, post-tenure and promotion reviews and management of these processes in academic affairs. I secured grant funding for the college to make covid era adaptations and innovations. I bring committee leadership experience in curriculum, governance and have served on strategic planning and vision, forged a direct relationship between educational technology and academic affairs including working with the associate director for academic innovation on varieties of online and non-traditional programs. I am originally from the state of Tamil-Nadu in southern India. I left home in 1994 for Norway and then came to the United States for graduate studies. Rooted in my home culture and speaking a handful of languages, I am drawn to music, dance, cultural and social histories of people and places. I spent a brief period of time in Anchorage, Alaska. I love the snow, mountains, and northern areas. I am a born vegetarian, an avid cook and I love all things food and agronomy. I have a daughter who graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a degree in psychology and minor in biology and she lives and works in Burlington, VT. I live here with my husband and we currently reside close to the Earlham campus. As a life-long student, teacher-scholar, and collaborative leader in academic administration I am excited to join the Earlham College community.

Education / Degrees

  • Ph.D. Economics University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • M.A. Economics University of Bombay, India
  • B.A. Economics Sophia College, Bombay, India

Professional memberships

  • American Economics Association
  • Association for Social Economics
  • Association for Evolutionary Economics

Scholarly interest

I am a broadly trained social and evolutionary economist with expertise in international development and poverty based in a global systems perspective. Areas of scholarly interest: developing countries, poverty and the poor, capabilities and human development, broadening the scope and methodology of economics. Applied: Agrarian Area Studies; Theoretical: History of economic thought and methodology.

Published works

Institutional Analysis and Praxis: The Social Fabric Matrix Approach eds Tara Natarajan, Wolfram Elsner, and Scott Fullwiler. Springer 2009. I edited a special issue of the journal Forum for Social Economics in 2018 entitled Formal Methods for Integrated Socioeconomic Analysis. I have published several peer reviewed single authored and co-authored journal articles in the Review of Keynesian Economics, Journal of Economic Issues, Journal of Philosophical Economics, Journal of Northern Studies and Native Studies Review among others.