February 6, 2007

Good Afternoon:

I am very pleased to announce that Michael Bernstein, dean of Arts and Humanities, a professor of history and an associated faculty member in the department of economics at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD), will become Tulane University‚s new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs effective July 1. This position is Tulane's chief academic officer and is vital to the university's core academic mission.

Michael earned four degrees from Yale, including his Ph.D in economics in 1982. In addition to his position as dean, professor of history and associated faculty member in the department of economics, Michael is a faculty member in the science studies program at the University of California-San Diego. He is also the former chair of UCSD's department of history and the former chair of the University of California Academic Senate, San Diego Division, a critical role in the University of California system.

Besides his faculty and administrative experience at the University of California, Michael held appointments at Princeton University and the University of Cambridge, where he was a Fulbright scholar. He also served as a staff economist at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Michael has received numerous honors, fellowships and teaching awards and has been published widely in the country‚s most respected scholarly journals. He has co-edited or authored several books including "A Perilous Progress: Economists and Public Purpose in 20th Century America," which was a finalist for the 2002 Alice Hanson Jones Prize, given by the Economic History Association.

He holds leadership positions in many professional and educational organizations, including the executive board of the California Faculty Coalition for Public Higher Education.

Michael possesses all the attributes we were looking for in this critical role.  He is an extremely well respected scholar and educator, an experienced and accomplished academic administrator and a wonderful person with humanity and humility.

Michael emerged as the top candidate after a national search by the Provost Search Advisory Committee, which was led by Tulane anthropology professor Robert Hill and staffed by Anne Banos, Tulane's chief of staff. The search committee was formed in May 2006 and was comprised of 15 members representing all of the university community, including students. The search committee did an excellent job, attracting candidates from some of the nation's top universities. I want to thank the Committee members for their service to the university and this outstanding outcome.

Please join me in welcoming Michael to Tulane University and in thanking Paul Barron for the outstanding service he is rendering as interim provost.


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