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UR restructures provost position

Rochester Business Journal
June 18, 2012

The University of Rochester is making changes to the provost position after its provost announced he is leaving to become president of University of the Redlands in California, UR officials said Monday.

The duties of the position will be split, with Peter Lennie, dean of the faculty of arts, sciences and engineering becoming provost and dean of arts, sciences and engineering. Robert Clark, who is dean of the Edmund A. Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, will become interim senior vice president for research, effective with the departure of Provost Ralph Kuncl on Aug. 15.

“This new structure will more effectively address the provost’s role in our decentralized university governance model as well as the ongoing expansion of the research side of the office of the provost,” said Joel Seligman, UR president. “It will simplify and clarify responsibility, reduce an administrative level, and achieve some synergies by combining the provost’s academic functions and the position of dean of the faculty of arts, sciences and engineering and by creating a senior vice president to oversee the expanding responsibilities for research.”

The provost and dean of faculty for arts, sciences and engineering now will oversee the school of arts and sciences, the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the college, river campus libraries, the Memorial Art Gallery, the office of university graduate studies and the University of Rochester Press, among other duties.
This provost and dean also will assign staff to the academic affairs committee of the board of trustees.

“The definition of responsibilities recognizes that the redefined provost position amplifies the position of dean of the faculty of AS&E,” Seligman said. “Peter Lennie will continue to have an office in Lattimore Hall, since the majority of his duties will be as dean. He also will have an office in Wallis Hall.”

Schools outside of arts, sciences and engineering that report to the provost on formal academic issues such as tenure and promotion, which include the Eastman School of Music, Simon Graduate School of Business and Warner School of Education, will continue to do so, UR officials said.

In this new model, the deans of the school of arts and sciences and of the Hajim School will assume responsibility that had rested with the dean of faculty for arts, sciences and engineering. The office of faculty development and diversity will continue to report to both Seligman and the provost.

“This is a university priority and an area where I have a strong personal commitment,” Seligman said.

The new senior vice president for research will be responsible for the fastest growing segments of the current provost’s position, Seligman added. This includes the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, sponsored research, online initiatives and staffing the research and innovation committee of the board of trustees.

Seligman said he is counting on Clark to make decisions as if he were the permanent senior vice president. The university has several time-sensitive projects that should not be delayed, Seligman added, including selecting a new director of tech transfer and moving ahead on bringing in an IBM Corp. supercomputer that will be used in research.

A national search for the senior vice president will start at the beginning of the academic year, Seligman said.

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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