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Daniel Linzer Named University Provost

After five years as dean of the Weinberg College of Arts and Science, Linzer succeeds Lawrence Dumas

August 29, 2007

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Daniel Linzer, dean of Northwestern University's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (WCAS), has been named provost of the University, effective Sept. 1, Northwestern University President Henry S. Bienen announced today (Aug. 29).

Linzer, 53, will succeed Lawrence B. Dumas, who has been provost since 1996. Dumas will take a leave of absence for a year before returning to the faculty.

“I am very pleased that Dan Linzer has accepted the opportunity to become Northwestern's provost,” Bienen said. “He has been an outstanding leader as dean of WCAS and a distinguished member of our faculty for more than 20 years. I look forward to working closely with him on advancing the academic mission of Northwestern.”

Linzer has been dean of Weinberg since 2002. The college is the largest school at Northwestern, enrolling approximately half of the University's undergraduate students and including the largest number of graduate programs. Under Linzer's leadership, the number of undergraduate applications to the college has increased by more than 60 percent, and the already high quality of the student body has become even more selective. New undergraduate programs with high levels of student interest have been developed, including Global Health Studies, the Kaplan Freshman Humanities Scholars Program and the Kellogg Certificate in Financial Economics.

“I take this position with very mixed emotions,” Linzer said. “Larry Dumas has been a tremendous mentor for me and a tremendous booster for the college. His guidance and support have enabled us to accomplish all that we have in the past five years.”

During Linzer's tenure as dean, major changes have been made to the college's course distribution system to expand curricular choices in the liberal arts, and support has increased significantly for undergraduate research. Collaborations with the Chicago Botanic Garden, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum and the Adler Planetarium have increased opportunities for students and faculty. With Northwestern's Graduate School, new programs have been developed in African American Studies and in Religion that are attracting top applicants from across the country, and five-year funding of humanities and social science graduate students was implemented.

Since 2002 the college has recruited a large number of outstanding faculty, including five Board of Trustees professors. Several new buildings for the sciences and humanities have opened during Linzer's tenure as dean, and during that time annual philanthropic commitments to the college grew from $10.9 million to more $20.3 million, an increase of 86 percent.

“I'm very excited about this opportunity,” Linzer said. “Northwestern is incredibly well positioned as one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the world. Each of our schools is excellent in its own right, and there is a culture of cooperation among all of them. The University's strong financial position and leadership, coupled with our geographic location, puts us in an excellent position for the future. I'm pleased to have the opportunity to be part of helping Northwestern achieve its goals.”

Prior to becoming dean, Linzer served as associate dean of Weinberg since 1998. He came to Northwestern in 1984 as an assistant professor. Since 1997 he has been a professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology.

The University will appoint an interim dean for Weinberg while beginning a national search for Linzer's successor in that position, Bienen said.

“I am confident that the academic programs of the University will continue to prosper under Dan's leadership and that our students, faculty and staff will greatly enjoy working with him,” Bienen said.

Topics: University News