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Dr. Elizabeth S. Boylan, Longtime Provost and Dean of the Faculty, to Step Down

Liz Boylan

Barnard College President Debora L. Spar today announced that after 16 years, Provost and Dean of the Faculty Elizabeth S. Boylan will be leaving her administrative role at the College for a new position with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, where she will serve as Program Director. 

Provost Boylan leaves behind a long list of accomplishments. Under her leadership, the Barnard faculty’s overall tenure rate, proportion of women professors, and diversity as a whole have increased. She has directed the implementation of numerous grants for faculty career enhancement and collaborative initiatives in support of scholarly and creative work, as well as grants for major renovations to Barnard’s science facilities. She was also a key player in the design and programming of the College’s newest building, the Diana Center.  In addition to her role leading Barnard’s faculty, Boylan has served as a tenured professor of biological sciences since her arrival in 1995.  

“Liz is an extraordinary example of what it means to be both teacher and scholar.  Her steadfast love of academia and her passion for her work have been gifts to Barnard, and have truly shaped this institution into a place where devoted faculty can be scholars on the cutting edge,” said President Spar. “Our loss is unequivocally the Sloan Foundation’s gain.”

Former Barnard president Judith Shapiro, whose tenure overlapped with Boylan’s from 1995-2008, said, “I cannot imagine a better provost: Liz is at once high-minded and down to earth, equally at home with big ideas and micro-data, endowed with just the right balance between seriousness and a sense of humor. Aside from how lucky Barnard has been to have her, the wider world of higher education has also had occasion to benefit from and appreciate her many contributions.”

At Sloan, Boylan’s primary responsibility will be leading the Foundation’s programs to support higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). She will be setting strategy and identifying new grant opportunities for programs that focus on increasing access to graduate education in STEM fields by African Americans, Latinos, American Indians and women. Boylan will also work with other Sloan Program Directors to advance the development of Foundation programs focused on STEM research and education more broadly, and on the Foundation’s civic initiatives in New York City. 

Paul E. Hertz, professor of biological sciences, will take on the role of interim provost.  A member of Barnard’s faculty since 1979, Hertz has served four terms on the Advisory Committee on Appointments, Tenure and Promotion and, most recently, has lent his time and expertise as co-chair of Barnard's Middle States Accreditation Steering Committee. 

Provost Boylan’s last day at Barnard in her administrative role is June 30, 2011, though she will continue to serve in an advisory capacity for the next two years and will retain her current rank as professor of biological sciences with tenure.

About Elizabeth Boylan

Boylan was named Barnard's Provost and Dean of the Faculty in July 1995, and served as Acting President in Fall 2000.

A specialist in developmental biology and cancer research, Boylan earned a Ph.D. in zoology from Cornell University and a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Wellesley College. She came to Barnard from Queens College/CUNY where she was associate provost for academic planning and programs. She holds a U.S. patent and has been a consultant for, among others, the National Cancer Institute, the National Science Foundation and the American Cancer Society. From 1999 through 2004 she served as Commissioner on the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.