Bienen Announces Dumas to Step Down
It is with great regret that I am writing to announce that Lawrence B. Dumas has informed me of his desire to step down from the position of Provost, ideally before the beginning of the new academic year. Provost Dumas will move into a year-long leave of absence, after which he will decide whether or not to return to active professional life in the department of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology.As many members of the community are aware, Larry has for the past several months been dealing with a serious health issue. Fortunately, he has responded well to treatment and his prognosis is encouraging. Nonetheless, the treatment regimen has proven to be a difficult one; and Larry has concluded that it is in the best interests of the University that his current position be filled by someone who can devote full attention and energy to the many demands of the post. Characteristically, Larry has handled his current medical burdens with his customary grace, and his deep sense of responsibility to Northwestern, his office, and to me personally. I cannot easily say how much affection I have for Larry and how deeply in his debt I am, as is the entire Northwestern community. When the history of Northwestern is written anew, he will loom large in that history. Prior to becoming provost, Larry served as dean of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences for eight years. A member of the Northwestern University faculty since 1970, he was professor and chair of the department of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology prior to beginning service as dean. He was named an associate professor in 1975 and professor of biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology in 1980. During his tenure as provost, and before that as dean of WCAS, Larry has led the efforts to strengthen collaboration among the sciences in WCAS, the McCormick School of Engineering and the Feinberg School of Medicine. His ability to build bridges between our schools has energized our research efforts, helped attract and retain outstanding faculty and guided our facilities construction. His leadership has extended far beyond the sciences, however. Larry has truly helped shape the very basis of Northwestern’s education. He has championed strongly opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in faculty-guided research. He has encouraged cross-disciplinary approaches to teaching and learning; and he has constantly challenged all of us to reach, to push and to strive to make Northwestern an outstanding academic institution. In recognition of Larry’s significant contributions to Northwestern, we will establish the Lawrence B. Dumas Distinguished University Professorship. The holder of the chair may be in any academic field, reflecting Larry’s own wide-ranging interests at Northwestern. I have begun work on selecting a successor. I am pleased that Larry will maintain an office on campus and will be available for consultation. I know that his counsel will continue to prove invaluable, just as it has for the past 13 years. On another occasion we will celebrate Provost Dumas’ many outstanding contributions. For now, I know you all join me in thanking him for his countless contributions to Northwestern University and in wishing Larry and his wife, Sally, the very best.
Henry S. Bienen