Members of the Columbia Community received an exciting email from the desk of your President, PrezBo, earlier this afternoon. The search has officially begun for a new Alan Brinkley, and Lee C. and the Selection Committee want to know who you think should be second in command. “We are seeking a candidate of academic stature, intellectual excellence, and demonstrated leadership skills who has made significant contributions to his or her field,” said Bollinger. 

Bwog has a few theories and few guesses regarding new provost possibilites. First, as one Blue and White alum pointed out: “They would be smart to pick a woman. Columbia is one of the very few schools of its caliber to not have had a female president or provost yet.”

Another alum reckoned: “I’d put my money on an economist, a hard-number oriented social scientist, or a straight up scientist. Bollinger wants to put more emphasis on science and his provost selection is the best way to trigger a broad tonal shift.”

Bwog thought of a few women and/or scientists meeting Bollinger’s description, a list that included Darcy Kelley, Danielle Allen, Cathy Popkin and Helene Gayle

Were the provost to be selected from within the University, logical choices would include Andrew Delbanco, Carol Gluck, Robert Shapiro and Mark Lilla (though Lilla is rumored to be next in line to inherit Bob Silvers’ New York Review of Books).

The dark horse in all of this is Bollinger determining that the best–nay, the only— person for the job is, in fact, himself.


Dear fellow member of the Columbia community:

On September 24, after five years of outstanding leadership, Provost Alan Brinkley

announced that he would be leaving his position at the end of this academic year to

return to the faculty full-time.

I have now formed a 14-member committee to advise me in identifying Alan’s successor.

Composed of representatives from across the University, including our Medical Center, the

committee has now met and launched the process, which I hope to complete during the

Spring semester.  The committee members are listed below.

Working with the President, the Provost has broad responsibility for ensuring that the

University’s programs and faculty are of the highest quality.  We are seeking a candidate

of academic stature, intellectual excellence, and demonstrated leadership skills who has

made significant contributions to his or her field.   A PhD or Doctorate degree is

required and the candidate must have achieved the rank of full professor.

To nominate someone, please submit the person’s name, CV (if possible), and a paragraph

about why the person should be considered to:

We look forward to hearing your ideas on this important position at Columbia.


Lee C. Bollinger


Provost Search Committee Members

Carlos Alonso, Morris A. & Alma Schapiro Professor in the Humanities

Carol Becker, Dean of the School of Arts and Professor of the Arts

John Coatsworth, Dean of the School of International Public Affairs

Mary Sheila S. Coronel, Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative

Journalism and Director of the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism

Geraldine Downey, Vice Provost for Diversity Initiatives and Professor of Psychology

Nabila El-Bassel, Professor of Social Work

Linda Fried, Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health

Lee Goldman, Executive VP for Health and Biomedical Sciences and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and of Medicine; Harold and Margaret Hatch Professor of the University; Professor of Epidemiology

Tony Heinz, David M. Rickey Professor of Optical Communications in the Faculty of

Engineering and Applied Science and Professor of Physics

Reinhold Martin, Associate Professor of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and


Chris Mayer, Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate and Senior Vice Dean of the Columbia

Business School

Ann McDermott, Esther Brewslow Professor of Biological Chemistry and Associate Vice

President for Academic Planning and Science Initiatives

Kendall Thomas, Nash Professor of Law at the Columbia Law School

Katharine Volk, Associate Professor of Classics