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Provost Emeritus Phelps

Charles E. Phelps came to the University of Rochester in 1984 as a professor and director of the Public Policy Analysis Program, a graduate program offered by the Department of Political Science, in conjunction with the Department of Economics. In 1989 he became chair of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine and Dentistry. He became Provost in July 1, 1994 and served until July 31, 2007. As Provost, he was responsible for overseeing the academic activity of the University, including teaching, research, and supporting services (e.g., libraries, information technology, and technology transfer) in each of the University's six schools. He currently holds the titles of University Professor and Provost Emeritus.

Phelps has achieved national and international recognition for his scholarly research. In 1991 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and to the National Bureau for Economic Research.  He served for six years on the Report Review Committee of the National Academies. His textbook, Health Economics, is now entering its fifth edition (Addison Wesley Pearson) and has been translated into French, Chinese, and Arabic.  Click here to learn more.

Phelps was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (academic year 2008-2009). 

Provost Emeritus Phelps participated from 1997-2007 in the Association of American Universities’ Committee on Digital Technology and Intellectual Property Rights, and was an active participant in the AAU's work in areas involving related topics. He testified before Congress in June 1998 on issues pertaining to the implementation of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaty and has spoken on related matters in conferences on these issues sponsored by, among others, the Department of Commerce. He also testified in July, 2005, on Patent Reform for the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Intellectual Property.

Provost Emeritus Phelps earned his baccalaureate degree from Pomona College in Claremont, California. He then earned both an M.B.A. in hospital administration and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. Before coming to Rochester, Phelps worked at the RAND Corporation from 1971 through 1984.

Phelps served from 1998–2006 on the Board of Trustees for the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in Washington, DC, the last two years as Chair. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago, IL, and on the Board of Directors of VirtualScopics, Inc., a diagnostic imaging technology company located in Rochester, NY.  He also serves as an advisor to CVT, a pharmaceutical company in Palo Alto, CA.

Phelps is married to Dale L. Phelps, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology at the School of Medicine and Dentistry of the University.  Provost Emeritus Phelps has retired to Mendocino County in Northern California, where he writes and consults regularly.

Provost Emeritus Phelps' CV

Provost Emeritus Phelps' Researcher Page in DSpace, containing links to many of his publications.

Intellectual Property and Scholarly Communication

For more information on Provost Emeritus Phelps' teaching activities, see his faculty Web page.


Charles Phelps
Provost Emeritus