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PrezBo Announces New Provost

PrezBo has handed down an email from on high announcing that Stanford’s Dr. Claude M. Steele will be the next University Provost. Steele “is currently the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences at Stanford University, where he has taught since 1991. He also currently serves as the Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.”

PrezBo also noted that Steele is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Education, and has received numerous awards and honorary degrees. “He is a friend and colleague to many in the Columbia community,” wrote Bollinger, “and it is a great moment to be able to welcome him here as Provost.”

We for one welcome our new west coast overlord. Full announcement after the jump.

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I am very pleased to announce that I am appointing Dr. Claude M. Steele as the new Provost of Columbia University, effective September 1, 2009. Dr. Steele is currently the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences at Stanford University, where he has taught since 1991. He also currently serves as the Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Claude is widely recognized for his dedicated and charismatic teaching, for his seminal scholarship, which has focused on questions of identity, group stereotypes, and addictive behaviors, and for his service to the academic community and beyond. He is a friend and colleague to many in the Columbia community, and it is a great moment to be able to welcome him here as Provost.

Let me note just a few of the highlights of Claude’s distinguished career. As a leader in the field of social psychology, he currently holds memberships in the National Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of several fellowships and prizes including the Senior Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association. His past leadership roles include serving as the president of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, as the president of the Western Psychological Association, as the chair of the Executive Committee of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and as a member of the board of directors of the American Psychological Society. His extensive academic experience includes professorships on the faculties of the University of Michigan, University of Washington, the University of Utah, and in his current role at Stanford, where he has served as the chair of the Psychology Department. Dr. Steele received his BA from Hiram College and both his MA and PhD from Ohio State University. He has received honorary degrees from a number of prestigious universities, including the University of Chicago, Yale, and Princeton.

Having earned the admiration of students and colleagues for his excellence as a teacher, researcher, and department chair, Dr. Steele is an ideal choice to succeed Provost Alan Brinkley, whom I thank again for his tremendous contribution to the University. I also want to thank all the members of the Advisory Committee for their care and insights in the process leading to this new appointment.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Claude Steele as the 21st Provost of Columbia University.



Lee C. Bollinger


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  • enough says:

    @enough of the super diversity prezbo. i hope you hired competent people.

  • dumb says:

    @dumb read the guys resume, he is cooler than you are.

    he sounds pretty awesome with research and administrative experience.

    i just hope he has the chops to keep up with the NYC life.

  • well says:

    @well A qualified researcher does not a great provost make.

    Still, I think Carl Hart just creamed his pants.

  • asfdd says:

    @asfdd way to go, prick, a great way to start off the new provost’s tenure.

    from wiki: His twin brother is the conservative writer and fellow of the Hoover Institute, Shelby Steele.

    That’s unusual, and very cool

    1. asfdd says:

      @asfdd **comment 4 was in response to comment 1. stupid bwog formatting

  • senior says:

    @senior this is really exciting! also a boon to the psychology department.

  • Also says:

    @Also Provost Steele just sounds badass.

  • what says:

    @what exactly does a provost do?

    1. seriously says:

      @seriously inquiring minds want to know.

      1. they says:

        @they are like a Chief Academic Officer. All things about Columbia that aren’t student services (Housing, Dining, CUIT, Facilities, Human Resources…) So ultimately all the colleges, faculty, departments, and by extension student affairs, etc. would roll up to him, I think.

        1. What A Provost Does says:

          @What A Provost Does Summary of responsiblity:

          And a heck of a lot of provost organs:

        2. Alum says:

          @Alum “All things about Columbia that aren’t student services…”

          Not so. The provost isn’t responsible for finance, development, and most other non-academic functions within the university.

  • dun dun dun says:

    @dun dun dun prezbo bring in ANOTHER michigander. why is michigan taking over Columbia!?

    1. because says:

      @because michigan > columbia.
      but he also taught at Ohio State which is the opposite of michigan, so relax. he clearly has no loyalties.

  • Sufjan says:

    @Sufjan Only a Steele man can be a Provost…

  • Alum says:

    @Alum He sounds like a great choice. And props to Bwog on the “west coast overlord” bit. Well done!

  • buns of stern says:

    @buns of stern Bwog, your second sentence begins with the wrong firm-sounding adjective. His name is Steele, not Stern.

  • hey says:

    @hey he’s good looking.

  • Let us says:

    @Let us welcome Steeley Claude by challenging him to a game of sidewalk chess.

  • CC Alum says:

    @CC Alum Two shitty appointments in a row, how nice!

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