Alan Brinkley, Provost of Columbia University and the Allan Nevins Professor of American History
Alan Brinkley, an admired American historian and former chair of Columbia’s history department, took on the role of University Provost in 2003.
As chief academic officer, the provost has the broad responsibility of ensuring that its program and faculty are of the highest quality. He directs the development and implementation of the University’s academic plans and policies, and supervises the work of its faculties, departments, and research centers. He authorizes, directly or through a representative, all academic appointments and is a member of all faculties and administrative boards.
While continuing to teach and write for both academic and general audiences, Brinkley has focused as provost on implementing several key initiatives:
- arts planning, including co-chairing the search for the new School of the Arts dean with Nicholas Dirks
- diversity, in particular developing a faculty recruitment proposal and working to implement it with the help of the new vice provost;
- faculty quality of life, helping to oversee improvements such as a school search service, enhanced child care and the appointment of a Work-Life vice provost; and
- the Task Force on Undergraduate Education
Nick Dirks, a widely respected scholar of South Asian and British colonial history, has been the vice president for Arts and Sciences since fall 2004.
As vice president for Arts and Sciences and dean of the faculty, Dirks is responsible for the academic administration and direction of twenty-nine departments (covering the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences), twenty-seven institutes and centers, and six schools (the School for International and Public Affairs, Columbia College, the School of General Studies, the School of Continuing Education, the School of the Arts, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences). In addition, he oversees the operational and financial management of the Arts and Sciences in conjunction with long-term academic and financial planning. Vice President Dirks is also actively engaged in building closer relationships with schools and centers outside of the Arts and Sciences.