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BU Associate Provost for Research Ruckenstein Steps Down

Provost requests nominations for successor

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Andrei Ruckenstein, vice president and associate provost for research, professor of physics, Boston University

Andrei Ruckenstein, will step down from his position as BU’s vice president and associate provost for research at the end of the academic year. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Andrei Ruckenstein, vice president and associate provost for research, is stepping down at the end of the academic year. Ruckenstein took the job in 2007, the first person to hold the title. He will take a sabbatical and return to teaching in the College of Arts & Sciences physics department, Provost Jean Morrison announced earlier this week.

Morrison credits Ruckenstein with breaching “administrative barriers” impeding collaboration between researchers on BU’s two campuses, helping to launch the Center for Neuroscience and the graduate program in neuroscience, promoting the development of numerous interdisciplinary initiatives, among them the Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, the Center for Cloud Innovation, the Center for Finance, Law, and Policy, and the nanomedicine program, and was the founding president of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, a multi-university-and-tech-firm collaborative designed to accommodate the remote-computing needs of member schools.

“The growth and evolution of BU’s national research presence during the six years of Andrei’s leadership,” Morrison says, “can be gleaned from our acclaimed Research Magazine, which has advanced from a simple presentation of sponsored science and engineering research projects into a crucial window into the enormous breadth and depth of Boston University’s innovative scholarship and research spanning all academic disciplines.”

Morrison says she will consult University colleagues in the next three weeks in a search for a successor to the post, which is part of her cabinet. The position is responsible for “overseeing the research enterprise, helping to catalyze initiatives across campus,” she says.

Interested applicants or people wishing to nominate a candidate should email Morrison at provost@bu.edu or send a letter to her at the Office of the Provost. The envelope may be marked “Confidential” if the sender desires, Morrison says. She and President Robert A. Brown expect to name a new associate provost for research before the school year ends.

Ruckenstein’s successor will inherit a $362.5 million budget for sponsored (non-University-funded) research as well as the need to cope with the issue of sequestration, the across-the-board federal spending cuts that began March 1 and threaten to lop between 5 percent and 10 percent off of various research grants. The University and other schools across the country have lobbied unsuccessfully to avert the cuts.

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Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

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