On May 7, University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announced in a campus-wide email he is recommending the appointment of Martin Philbert, dean of the School of Public Health, as the next provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

Responsible for strengthening the University’s academic record, the provost holds positions as both the chief academic officer and chief budgetary officer on campus, according to the provost office’s website.

The University’s last Provost, Martha Pollack, left on April 17 to accept a position as the President of Cornell University.

Schlissel wrote the depth of Philbert’s experience that renders him a successful candidate, believing him accountable for ensuring the continuation of the University’s academic integrity.

“Dr. Philbert’s success in leading our world-class School of Public Health for the last six years and his track record of high-impact research make him an outstanding choice to be our next provost,” he wrote. 

If approved by the Board of Regents at their June 15 meeting, Philbert’s appointment will be effective Sept. 1.

In a press release, Philbert said he is looking forward to working with the University community to preserve its 200 years of excellence.

“The University of Michigan has a 200-year legacy as a local and global center of academic excellence and leadership,” he said. “…I am honored to have the opportunity to partner with President Schlissel, university leaders, the faculty, students and staff in keeping Michigan at the forefront of higher education.”

According to the press release, Philbert is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He is also recognized as a fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Academy of Toxicological Sciences and a member of the Division of Earth and Life Sciences of the National Academy of Science.

Schlissel explained Philbert has paved the way for the development of new degree programs, strengthened research partnerships and advanced educational opportunities since his time as School of Public Health dean began in 2011.

“He has worked to advance research and educational partnerships in Southeast Michigan and around the globe, and strengthened multidisciplinary collaborations across our university,” he wrote. “Under his leadership, SPH has launched new degree programs in emerging areas of public health, including an M.P.H. in Nutritional Sciences, the school’s first undergraduate degree programs, and a master’s program in Environmental Health Promotion & Policy.”

At the conclusion of the email, Schlissel thanked interim Provost Paul Courant.

“I also want to recognize and express my appreciation to interim Provost Paul Courant for his steadfast leadership and willingness to serve in this important role as we conducted a national search for the position,” he wrote. “I look forward to working with Dr. Philbert as we embark on our third century at the University of Michigan.”

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