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August 22, 2012

Position of provost restructured

Peter Lennie becomes provost and dean of the faculty of AS&E; Rob Clark becomes interim senior vice president for research

Lennie Clark



The University’s Board of Trustees has approved a restructuring of the provost’s position recommended by President Joel Seligman following Provost Ralph Kuncl’s appointment as president of the University of Redlands.

Peter Lennie, who has served as the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering, has been named provost and dean of the faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering, and Robert Clark, the dean of the Hajim School, has been named interim senior vice president for research.

“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,” Seligman said. “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 & Engineering and by creating a senior vice president to oversee the expanding responsibilities for research.”

As provost and the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering, Lennie oversees the School of Arts and Sciences, the Hajim School, the College, River Campus Libraries, the Memorial Art Gallery, the Office of University Graduate Studies, and the University of Rochester Press.

He has responsibility for reaccreditation, institutional research, University Health Service, the University Intercessors, the Deans Council, academic and multidisciplinary awards, and the Deans Committee on Administrative Practices, and he staffs the trustees’ Academic Affairs Committee.

“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 AS&E that reported to the provost on formal academic issues such as tenure and promotion (including the Eastman School, Simon School, and Warner School) continue to do so.

They report to the president or to the president, the provost, and the senior vice president for administration and finance on issues related to budget, strategy, and facilities. Medical Center CEO Bradford Berk continues to report directly to the president. No changes are occurring in the reporting relationships of the School of Medicine and Dentistry or the School of Nursing.

In the new model, the deans of the School of Arts & Sciences and of the Hajim School assume responsibility that had rested with the dean of the faculty of AS&E for tenure, promotion, leave, and related faculty issues in their schools, as well as for student appeals.

The Office of Faculty Development and Diversity continues to report to both the president and provost. “This is a University priority and an area where I have a strong personal commitment,” Seligman said.

Lennie has been dean of the faculty of AS&E since 2006, when he returned to Rochester after serving for seven years as dean for science and a professor of neuroscience at NYU.

He is a professor of brain and cognitive sciences and during his previous time at Rochester served as director of the Center for Visual Science, dean of academic resources and planning, and chair of brain and cognitive sciences. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge.

The new senior vice president for research is responsible for the fastest growing segments of the former provost’s position, Seligman said.

Those responsibilities include the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, sponsored research, including the Sponsored University Research Group and the Office of Research Projects Administration, University Information Technology, Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation (HSCCI), Center for Entrepreneurship, Office of Research Alliances, Office of Human Subjects Protection/Research Subjects Review Board, Office of Technology Transfer, online initiatives, and staffing the trustees’ Research and Innovation Committee.

“Rob Clark’s efforts to bridge between University research and the corporate world through cross-school initiatives such as the TEAM program with Simon and the Center for Medical Technology Innovation with the School of Medicine and Dentistry made him a logical choice for the interim senior vice president’s role,” Seligman said.

“During Rob’s period as interim, I expect him to make decisions as if he were the permanent senior vice president,” Seligman said.

Clark continues as dean of the Hajim School while serving as interim senior vice president.

He has been dean since 2008, when he arrived from Duke University, where he had served as senior associate dean and dean of the Pratt School of Engineering. Clark is an expert in the science of acoustics and in bionanomanufacturing.

He holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Lennie’s term runs through June 30, 2016. There will be a national search for the senior vice president for research when the academic year begins, Seligman said.

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