BU Provost to Step Down
David Campbell plans to return to research| From Commonwealth | By Art Jahnke
University Provost David Campbell says the past five years have been fast-paced and exhilarating, with many significant accomplishments. He will continue as provost while BU conducts an international search for his successor.
University Provost David Campbell will step down to return to teaching and to focus on the research projects he set aside more than five years ago when he assumed the position of chief academic officer. Campbell, a well-known scholar and theoretical physicist, who specializes in nonlinear phenomena and condensed matter physics, received the American Physical Society’s 2010 Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize, awarded for “pioneering new approaches to the study of complex systems and for communicating the excitement of this new field to diverse audiences.” He will continue as University provost while an international search is conducted for his successor.
“Over the past year, I have had many conversations — with President Brown, my family, and others — about my own long-term goals and plans,” Campbell wrote in an e-mail sent to faculty in April. “After much careful thought and deliberation, I have concluded that I cannot in good faith make the long-term commitment that Boston University needs from those going forward in senior leadership roles.
“These last five years have been fast-paced and exhilarating,” he wrote. “Together we have accomplished much. In the last year alone, we have seen the implementation of key recommendations of the report of the Council on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion, the issuance of the task force report “One BU: Unlocking the Undergraduate Educational Experience,” the completion of the report of the task force on non-tenure-track faculty, and most recently, the successful launch of the University Honors College. We are well placed to follow through on these and other important initiatives that will forge the future of Boston University.”
Brown, writing in the same message, thanked Campbell for his tireless efforts “to make Boston University a better institution and for doing so with unfailing good humor and generosity of spirit.
“The commitment and sacrifices a faculty member makes to an institution to serve in a leadership role is larger than many of us can imagine,” said Brown. “This is especially true of the role of the University provost, which is, without a doubt, our most demanding academic leadership position.”
Brown said the University will hire an experienced search consultant and will work collaboratively to solicit input and advice and to review candidates.
“It is my goal to find a distinguished scholar and researcher with extensive senior leadership experience,” he said, “so that we will have a seamless transition and continue to move the University forward.”
The provost is Boston University’s chief academic officer, responsible for guiding the educational and budget policies for all of the Charles River Campus schools and colleges, comprising more than 27,000 students and nearly 2,300 faculty.