The University of Chicago News Office
September 26, 2006 Press Contact: Steve Koppes
(773) 702-8366

Thomas Rosenbaum to be next Provost of University of Chicago

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Thomas Rosenbaum
Thomas Rosenbaum

University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer has chosen Thomas Rosenbaum as the next provost of the University. Rosenbaum has served as the University’s Vice President for Research and for Argonne National Laboratory since July 2002. He will become the University’s second-ranking officer effective Jan. 1, 2007.

“Tom’s deep commitment to excellence across the University and his significant record of accomplishment on the faculty and administration make him an ideal choice for our next provost,” Zimmer said. “His leadership was instrumental in the University’s successful bid in an open competition to retain management of Argonne, one of the nation’s largest and most important federally funded research centers.

“He brings to the provost’s office expertise in addressing the most difficult problems through the combined strength and insight of multiple perspectives from across disciplines. As we look ahead to developing ambitious plans for the arts and humanities, social sciences, the physical and biological sciences, and the schools, Tom’s appreciation for the broad array of academic environments, modes of inquiry, and needs throughout the divisions and schools will be especially important.”

Rosenbaum succeeds Richard Saller, the Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor, who will return to the faculty after completing his current five-year term as provost in December.

“Richard’s many achievements as provost, including developing the University’s master plan and spearheading the new urban education initiative, provide a strong foundation for an ambitious agenda moving forward,” said Zimmer, who returned to Chicago this July after serving as provost at Brown University since 2002. “His integrity and commitment to the core values of the University have set a tone that will continue to inform our work.”

Rosenbaum is the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor in Physics at the University. He is an expert on the quantum mechanical nature of materials — the physics of electronic, magnetic and optical properties at the atomic level — that are best observed at temperatures hundreds of degrees below zero.

He conducted research at Bell Laboratories and at IBM Watson Research Center before he joined the Chicago faculty in 1983. He directed the University’s Materials Research Laboratory from 1991 to 1994, and the University’s James Franck Institute from 1995 to 2001. Rosenbaum currently chairs the multi-institutional Science Policy Council of Argonne.

As provost, Rosenbaum will be responsible for academic appointments, programs and budgetary priorities at the University, which has a faculty of 2,160 faculty members and a student enrollment of 12,500. A search will soon begin for a new Vice President for Research and for Argonne National Laboratory.

Rosenbaum’s honors include an Alfred Sloan Research Fellowship, a Presidential Young Investigator Award and the William McMillan Award for Outstanding Contributions to Condensed Matter Physics. He is an elected fellow and Centennial Lecturer of the American Physical Society, and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Rosenbaum received his bachelor’s degree in physics with honors from Harvard University. He then attended Princeton University, where he earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in physics.

Founded by John D. Rockefeller, the University is a private, nondenominational, coeducational institution of higher learning. The University places particular emphasis at the graduate level on training students for careers in academia and research. The undergraduate program focuses on critical thinking and broad interdisciplinary exposure to the full range of intellectual discovery. More than 70 recipients of the Nobel Prize have been researchers, students or faculty members at the University.
Last modified at 10:22 AM CST on Tuesday, September 26, 2006.

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