John Coatsworth Named Interim University Provost

June 29, 2011

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that John Coatsworth will assume the responsibilities of University Provost on an interim basis effective July 1.  Claude Steele will graciously help with the transition, until he leaves in August to take up his new position as Dean of the School of Education at Stanford.  John has been an exceptional Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs and will continue in that post.  His wide experience at Columbia and elsewhere makes him ideally suited to help with the array of academic and budgetary issues lodged in the Provost's office.

As many of you know, John is a highly respected expert on Latin American international and economic history.  He first came to Columbia in 2006.  He previously taught at the University of Chicago from 1969 until 1992, when he joined the Harvard faculty as Monroe Gutman Professor of Latin American Affairs.  There he became the founding director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.  His other academic posts have included visiting professorships in Argentina, Mexico, and Spain.  He is a former president of the American Historical Association and of the Latin American Studies Association, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations.  

John will continue serving as Dean of SIPA, relying on the wonderful group of faculty and staff he has assembled there to continue leading the School.  Soon I will appoint a small advisory group to assist me in the search for the next Provost of the University.  Once again, I want to thank Claude Steele for his many contributions and for his friendship with all of us at Columbia.


Lee C. Bollinger