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October 06, 2015

Peter Lennie stepping down as provost

Peter Lennie
Peter Lennie

Peter Lennie is stepping down as provost, a position he has held since 2012. He will continue to serve as the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering until June 2017.

“The University has been substantially strengthened as a result of Peter’s leadership,” says President and CEO Joel Seligman. “There will be time later this academic year to celebrate Peter’s service as provost, but in the meantime please join me in recognizing Peter for his dedication to the University.”

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 New York University.

Since then, more than 60 new faculty—including 12 new faculty last academic year—joined the University, bringing the current AS&E faculty to 362.

During his tenure, undergraduate applications have risen to almost 17,000, the highest in the University’s history. Entering student board scores have increased from the 87th to the 94th percentile. At the same time, populations of underrepresented minority students and international students have increased. Student retention and graduation rates are at record levels.

Lennie also has brought financial stability to AS&E, substantially reducing the school’s endowment draw, Seligman says.

He has overseen a substantial expansion of student housing and the renovation of a number of classroom spaces. In addition, he orchestrated the construction of several new facilities, including Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics, which opened in 2007, and Ronald Rettner Hall for Media Arts and Innovation, which opened in 2013. He has also been involved in the planning of Wegmans Hall, currently under construction as the new, state-of-the-art home to the Goergen Institute for Data Science; with forthcoming renovations to the Frederick Douglass Building; a planned new residence hall near Fauver Stadium; and future renovations for Fauver Stadium itself.

“I particularly value Peter’s judgment, integrity, and honesty, Seligman says. “He always has offered me advice and counsel based on what he believed was best for the University as a whole. I have learned much from our discussions and am fortunate to have worked with a provost and dean of the faculty with Peter’s wisdom and rigor.”

Seligman says he will address the process to select the next provost in the coming weeks.

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