Dean Mary Boyce will assume the position of Provost next year.
In an email sent to students and faculty, President Lee Bollinger announced the appointment of Dean Mary C. Boyce as the University’s new Provost. Dean Boyce will officially take over as Provost starting July 1, 2021. Dr. Ira Katznelson, who has been currently serving as Interim Provost, will serve in this position until July.
At Columbia, Dean Boyce is the Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering. She is also the Dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. Before coming to Columbia in 2013, she served as a faculty member Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she taught for 25 years.
Having earned her Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virgina Tech and her MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, Dean Boyce’s has a number of accolades recognizing her expertise in the field. She is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering.
Recently, Dean Boyce is noted for her last year’s involvement in organizing the Columbia faculty to help come up with an alternative strategy for fixing the L train subway tunnel, which had been damaged by flooding during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. This effort resolved “an engineering bottleneck that threaten(ed) the reconstruction of the L train subway tunnel”, allowing the L train to continue operating normally on weekdays. President Bollinger also cites Dean Boyce’s efforts as the reason that more faculty members are working on “Data Science, Nano Science, Sensing and Imaging, Sustainability, and Engineering in Medicine.”
As Provost, Dean Boyce will continue her vision for Columbia Engineers for Humanity.
President Bollinger will soon share details regarding the search for a replacement for Dean Boyce.
President Bollinger’s email to SEAS students can be read below:
Dear members of the School of Engineering and Applied Science community:
I write to share with you that I have asked Dean Mary C. Boyce to serve as our next Provost and she has, happily for us, enthusiastically accepted. The following message will be sent to the larger Columbia community shortly. You, especially, will understand the many qualities that make Dean Boyce ideal for this position, including her deep commitment to SEAS and to Columbia. The School of Engineering and Applied Science is a very special place, a testament to its faculty, staff, and students, and with many important and productive partnerships across the University. It has been enriched by Mary’s deanship and the University will now benefit from her strong leadership in this new role. I will share plans for a dean search in the new year. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Dean Boyce.
Lee C. Bollinger
Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:
I write today, with great happiness, to announce my appointment of Mary C. Boyce, presently Dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, as the next Provost of the University. We are, indeed, fortunate to have someone with Dean Boyce’s combination of administrative capacity, academic accomplishment, and deep knowledge of Columbia to assume this role, which is always critical to the University’s future but is especially so at this remarkable moment. Mary will officially take over as Provost on July 1, 2021. Ira Katznelson, who has been both gracious and enormously effective as Interim Provost, during a time of challenges both unforeseeable and monumental, has generously agreed to continue on until July.
Mary’s service as Dean these past seven years has been exemplary. The School has thrived, buoyed by her celebration of intellectual creativity in all its forms, by her thoughtful expansion of the School’s academic programming, and by the recruitment of top scholars from around the world to the Engineering faculty. Propelled by a firm belief in the value of interdisciplinary work, Mary has led in establishing connections among Columbia Engineering and other parts of the University. Due to her determined efforts, we now have more faculty working together in areas such as Data Science, Nano Science, Sensing and Imaging, Sustainability, and Engineering in Medicine. Dean Boyce has brought Columbia Engineering’s expertise to the world, perhaps most notably by organizing Columbia faculty to help resolve an engineering bottleneck that was threatening the reconstruction of the L train subway tunnel with cost and time overruns. And Mary has made a special effort to advance the cross-disciplinary and creative opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students through new spaces, new design and research programming, and new curricular and co-curricular offerings.
Mary has also been influential in her contributions to the University at large. She has been an important advisor on virtually every one of the many new initiatives we have set forth over the past several years. And her distinguished service on important search committees for key University appointments has broadened her knowledge of the institution and provided wise counsel when it was needed.
Dean Boyce is Columbia’s Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering. When she arrived at Columbia in 2013 to lead the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Mary had been on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for 25 years, a period during which her research in the area of materials and mechanics led to innovative hybrid material design and earned broad respect across the field. Dean Boyce is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering. She earned her BS degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech, and her MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.
In short, Mary is an accomplished scholar, an effective leader, and a consummate University citizen. I am delighted she has agreed to serve as Provost and look forward to working even more closely with her in the years to come. I will write soon about a search for Mary’s successor and interim leadership at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. But now, we celebrate our good luck in having Mary’s many talents dedicated to the advancement of Columbia.
Lee C. Bollinger
Dean Boyce’s email to SEAS students can be found below:
Dear Columbia Engineering Students,
Today, President Bollinger issued an official announcement of my appointment as the new Provost of the University, effective July 1, 2021. I am honored, humbled, and excited to be taking on this new role within Columbia.
It has been such an honor to serve as your dean. You know my passion for engineering and my passion for propelling students during such an important and pivotal time in your lives. Our student body is at the core of the greatness of Columbia Engineering and of Columbia University. Your enthusiasm, talent, and creativity have been an inspiration and a spur to do all I can to strengthen Columbia Engineering and further raise its level of impact. As you have heard me say many times, engineering is in a renaissance and now considered to be a foundational degree that empowers our students to succeed in whatever field they choose. Our vision to be Columbia Engineers for Humanity continues and I intend to play a role in helping to advance this vision from my new vantage point as Provost at Columbia.
As we near the end of one term and prepare for another, I want to thank you again for your resilience and spirit. You demonstrate time and again that despite our remoteness, we are part of one Columbia community.
President Bollinger’s announcement follows below.
Mary C. Boyce
Dean of Engineering
Dean Boyce then attached the email that President Bollinger sent out to all students.