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04/20/2007 07:00:00

Stolper Named Provost at Caltech

PASADENA, Calif.- The California Institute of Technology has named Edward M. Stolper as the Institute's ninth provost. He will take the post August 1.

Stolper, the William E. Leonhard Professor of Geology, studies the origin and evolution of igneous rocks on the earth and other planets. He has been a member of the Caltech community for 28 years.

He earned a bachelor's degree summa cum laude in geological sciences from Harvard College in 1974, a master's in geology from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1976, and a PhD in geological sciences from Harvard University in 1979. He arrived on campus that same year as an assistant professor of geology. He was promoted to associate professor in 1982 and to professor of geology in 1983. In 1990 he was named the William E. Leonhard Professor of Geology. He served as interim provost in 2004 and as chair of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences from 1994 to 2004. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1994.

"Through his service as division chair and interim provost, the members of the Board of Trustees have come to admire Ed Stolper's unique combination of energetic leadership and focused dedication to the Institute's academic and research mission, as well as the depth of his commitment to Caltech's faculty and students. I am positive that he will be an inspirational chief academic officer for Caltech, and the trustees look forward to working with him as he assumes his new responsibilities," said Kent Kresa, chairman of the Caltech Board of Trustees.

The position of provost, the top academic officer, was first established at Caltech in 1962.

"While maintaining an active research program, Ed simultaneously undertook significant administrative roles, proving himself to be an effective and visionary leader," said Caltech president Jean-Lou Chameau. "Ed is committed to the continued excellence of Caltech's educational and research programs and is an effective and eloquent advocate for students, faculty, and staff."

In a letter to the Caltech community, Chameau noted that the search committee described Stolper as remarkably effective at recruiting, developing, and retaining outstanding faculty, and at engaging the faculty in promoting diversity.

Professor Paul Wennberg, head of the faculty search committee, observed that "Ed Stolper is an engaging and energizing presence in our community. His passion for and intimate knowledge of the Institute greatly impressed the search committee."

Professor Kip Thorne, another member of the search committee, noted that "Ed Stolper knows and understands our Caltech community, and its diverse cultures and components, extremely well. As provost he will make wise decisions, based on consultations with members of our community, on our shared core values, and on a vision for strengthening Caltech's greatness."

As planned when he was appointed in 2004, the current provost, Paul Jennings, will continue to serve in that position through the end of July. Jennings has been on the Caltech campus as a student, professor, and administrator for nearly 50 years. He has held the provost's post twice, from 1989 to 1995 and from 2004 to 2007.

Jennings, a professor of civil engineering and applied mechanics, is an expert in the design of earthquake-resistant structures and in how the earth moves during earthquakes. He has played an active role in investigating the effects of damaging earthquakes.

He served as chair of Caltech's Division of Engineering and Applied Science from 1985 to 1989; acting vice president for business and finance in 1995 and again in 1998-99; and executive officer for civil engineering and applied mechanics from 1975 to 1980.

Written by Jill Perry