James MacLaren, Ph.D., has served as the provost at Saint Xavier University since July 2018.
Dr. MacLaren most previously worked at Tulane University, where he began his time there as assistant professor of Physics before serving in such administrative roles as chair of the Physics Department, associate provost, acting dean of the Faculty of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the dean of Newcomb-Tulane College since the college's creation in 2006.
As assistant professor, his research interests focused on the electronic structure of materials and in particular that of layered magnetic materials. His collaborative work demonstrated that spin dependent tunneling between two epitaxial layers of iron separated by magnesium oxide could lead to a remarkably sensitive read head for magnetic hard disk drives. This work ("Electronic Transport in Magnetic Films and Multilayers") was awarded the USDOE Office of Energy Sciences Division of Materials Science Award for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment in Metallurgy and Ceramics.
Dr. MacLaren earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Natural Sciences from Churchill College at Cambridge University, England. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from Imperial College, London, where he studied the electronic properties of catalyst surfaces.
He has published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and received funding for his research from industry, state and federal agencies.