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SIPA’s Dean Lieberman Leaving CU

PrezBo sent an e-mail to SIPA members this morning to announce that their dean, Robert C. Lieberman, will leave Columbia University on June 30th to take on the position of Provost at Johns Hopkins University.

There is still no information on who will replace him, although PrezBo claims the selection process is nearly over.

Here is the text of the e-mail:

Dear members of the SIPA community:

I write to announce that Interim Dean Robert C. Lieberman will be leaving Columbia University on June 30 to assume the position of Provost at The Johns Hopkins University. His scholarship and his skill as a senior administrator have been valued at SIPA for almost twenty years. I want to thank Rob for all he has done and, on behalf of Columbia, to wish him every success at Johns Hopkins. 

The search process is nearing its conclusion, and I plan for my announcement of SIPA’s permanent dean to follow shortly. I look forward to sharing additional information with you soon.


Lee C. Bollinger


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  • curious says:

    @curious I think of universities as places with very stagnant administrations. Columbia’s high turnover rate seems unusual.

    Is that assumption right?

    1. Alum says:

      @Alum CU’s turnover rate is normal. It may seem higher because CU has more divisions, which means more deans and VPs.

      Remember that Lieberman is an interim dean. Unless he got the job permanently, he was going to step down this year anyway.

      Also, he’s leaving to take a better job at a peer university. That kind of turnover (like Nicholas Dirks becoming chancellor at Berkeley) doesn’t suggest a problem with CU administrators. Instead, it suggests that CU chooses them well.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous He wasn’t going to get the permanent job, so he had to leave. Columbia’s deans generally leave for top positions at America’s best colleges.

      1. CU_Alum says:

        @CU_Alum For all we know, Lieberman was the leading candidate for the permanent job. CU ordinarily would have chosen someone by now; they may well have delayed the decision to see if he would get the JHU job and if he would accept it. (They must have known he was a finalist.)

        And while interim appointees who don’t get the permanent job have to step down, they don’t have to leave the university. They just go back to being full-time professors.

        1. CU_Alum says:

          @CU_Alum There are reports today that Low Library has selected Merit Janow — a very fine choice, btw — as the new SIPA dean. The timing probably isn’t coincidence. Low Library was waiting to see if Lieberman would take the JHU job.

  • ?? says:

    @?? Why are all the deans out? And why are they all going to…Baltimore?

    1. Anonymass says:

      @Anonymass Don’t you watch The Wire?

  • Y? says:

    @Y? JHU… Y U STEAL ALL OUR DEANS?!?!?!?!?!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Now that Lee Bollinger has removed all the Columbia leadership, he can finally take complete control…

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous You’re about 7 years behind the times there, bud

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