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University of Alabama at Birmingham
About APLU

R. Michael Tanner, Ph.D.

R. Michael Tanner
R. Michael Tanner, Ph.D.
Senior Academic Counsel


  • January 10, 2016

R. Michael Tanner joined the APLU in January 2011 as Vice President for Academic Affairs. After his retirement in December 2015, he now serves as Senior Academic Counsel to APLU.  He has led projects to foster development and university use of personalized learning technologies to improve student learning, including the formation of a consortium of over 20 universities with that goal.  From 2002 to 2011, he was Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he was in charge of 14 academic colleges and the library, had principal responsibility for the budget, led academic planning, and spearheaded major multi-college interdisciplinary initiatives.  Prior to UIC, he was for 30 years at the University of California, Santa Cruz, having entered administration as Chair of Computer and Information Sciences and ultimately becoming Executive Vice Chancellor. He holds bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University.  An internationally recognized expert on codes that protect digital messages against errors in transmission and storage, he is considered the founder of the field of “codes on graphs,” which describes codes amenable to high-speed algorithms for correcting errors.  He holds four patents and is a Fellow of the IEEE and of the California Council on Science and Technology.