Accomplished academic administrator and neuroscientist Peter Lennie has been selected from a national field of candidates to serve as the University of Rochester's next Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. Currently the Dean for Science at New York University, Lennie will assume the University of Rochester post on July 1, 2006.
Lennie succeeds Thomas J. LeBlanc, who left to become executive vice president and provost at the University of Miami on July 1, 2005. According to University President Joel Seligman, Lennie was the unanimous choice of the 12 faculty members who comprised the Search Committee.
"The positive recommendation of the Search Committee was echoed by the enthusiasm of Peter's references," Seligman said. "He was praised for his track record of strengthening existing programs and initiating new ones – while grappling successfully with the fiscal realities that face all higher education institutions. He is not only an accomplished scholar, but an imaginative leader respected by colleagues at all levels."
For Lennie, the return to Rochester presents an opportunity to build on the College's considerable assets. "I'm delighted to be returning to the University, and to the College in particular," he said. "The faculty, staff, and students have brought the College to a position of considerable strength and are ambitious for growth. With a president who shares these ambitions, no Dean of the Faculty could hope for a better start."
An Accomplished Scholar and Leader – with Rochester Roots
From 1982 until 1995, Lennie served as an associate professor, then full professor of Psychology and Visual Science at the University of Rochester – including brief stints as Director of the Center for Visual Science and Dean of Academic Resources and Planning. In 1995, he became Rochester's first Chair of the newly formed Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, the post he held when recruited to New York University in 1999.
While at NYU, Lennie is credited with dramatically strengthening the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) by building programs both within the FAS and between FAS and other schools. Perhaps most notable has been the leadership role he has played in hiring top-tier science faculty through NYU's "Partners" program. The NYU Partners program takes its name from a partnership of six Trustees who are providing $10 million each to fund a major expansion of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, adding 100-125 new faculty members over five years. As Dean for Science, Lennie is at the center on decisions of where new hires are going to be focused.
"There's simply no question that Peter Lennie is the right person for this job at this time. He possesses the experience, leadership skill, decisiveness, and strength of character needed for the College to take full advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead," Seligman said.
About the College
The College encompasses undergraduate and graduate education, as well as research in the arts, sciences, and engineering. In addition, it has connections and collaborations with every other school in the University. With 317 faculty, 3,820 undergraduate and 1,065 graduate students, it is one of the premier tier-one research and teaching institutions in the nation. It is known for its innovative curriculum in which students receive both broad and concentrated exposure to liberal education in an effort to foster individual achievement and excellence.