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Michael A. Bernstein Named Provost

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Promising bold new academic leadership and commitment to excellence, Michael A. Bernstein has been named Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, has announced.

Michael A. Bernstein
Dr. Michael A. Bernstein

Bernstein, the John Christie Barr Professor of History and Economics and Provost of Tulane University from 2007 through July 2016, will join SBU as the University’s chief academic officer effective October 31, 2016.

“I’m very excited that Dr. Bernstein has decided to join Stony Brook University,” said President Stanley. “Under Dr. Bernstein’s leadership as Provost at Tulane both the STEM disciplines and the liberal arts flourished, benefiting from his keen ability to understand and help meet the distinct needs of the whole research university.”

“His experience at Tulane, and in his leadership positions at UCSD, including chair of the faculty senate — among his many other accomplishments — lends a unique and diverse perspective, and I am looking forward to his contributions and leadership,” Stanley said.

Highly qualified to lead SBU in the fulfillment of its academic mission, Bernstein received his PhD (1982), MPhil (1980), MA (1978) and BA (1976) in Economics, all at Yale University. His teaching and research interests focus on the economic and political history of the United States, macroeconomic theory, industrial organization economics, and the history of economic theory. Bernstein succeeds Dennis N. Assanis, who left Stony Brook on June 30 to become President of the University of Delaware.

As chief academic officer, the Provost is responsible for oversight of the academic mission of west campus, providing direct supervision for all academic units, support services and operations, and coordinating all academic programs. The deans and directors of the colleges, schools, libraries, centers and institutes, other than those in the Health Sciences Center, report to the Provost.

The Provost works closely with the Senior Vice President of the Health Sciences Center/Dean of the Medical School and the Vice President for Research with regard to academic and research issues that concern the University as a whole.

“It is an enormous honor to join Stony Brook University and become part of an institution that has, for over a half-century, represented the very best in American higher education,” said Bernstein. “With great anticipation and excitement, I look forward to working with President Stanley and the senior administrative team, faculty and staff colleagues, student leaders, alumni representatives, and community partners in sustaining a broad, balanced, and robust commitment to excellence in scholarship, research, art-making, student learning, and community engagement.”

Prior to his tenure as the Chief Academic Officer at Tulane, Bernstein was at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) for two decades, where he served as the Dean of Arts and Humanities and as a Professor of History, a department he chaired for six years. He also served as Chair of the Academic Senate of his home campus while at UCSD, and participated in the work of the UCSD Chancellor’s Diversity Council, the Advisory Board of the UCSD Women’s Center, the Advisory Committee of the UCSD Office of Sexual Harassment Prevention and Policy, and of the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women.

Bernstein’s selection as Provost was made following a national search under the direction of co-chairs David Ferguson, Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Technology and Society, and Nancy Tomes, Professor of History, and with the participation of a dedicated search committee.

About Michael Alan Bernstein
Professor Michael Bernstein’s teaching and research interests focus on the economic and political history of the United States, macroeconomic theory, industrial organization economics, and the history of economic theory. His publications explore the connections between political and economic processes in modern industrial societies, as well as the interaction of economic knowledge and professional expertise with those processes as a whole.

Along with numerous articles and anthology chapters, Bernstein has published four volumes: The Great Depression: Delayed Recovery and Economic Change in America, 1929-1939 (Cambridge University Press, 1987); Understanding American Economic Decline [co-edited with David Adler] (Cambridge University Press, 1994); The Cold War and Expert Knowledge: New Essays on the History of the National Security State [co-edited with Allen Hunter] (a special issue of Radical History Review 63 (Fall, 1995); and A Perilous Progress: Economists and Public Purpose in Twentieth Century America (Princeton University Press, 2001).

A former Fulbright Scholar at Christ’s College (Cambridge University), Professor Bernstein has held research grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, and the Economic History Association. In addition, he has been an Andrew Mellon Fellow at the National Humanities Center and has held a Residency Fellowship at Sophia University (Tokyo, Japan) under the joint auspices of the Organization of American Historians and the Japanese Association for American Studies. More recently, Bernstein received the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award of the University of California, San Diego.

Professor Bernstein has also been active in broader professional activities as exemplified by his service as Program Chair for the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Co-Convenor of the Economic History Association Dissertation Prize Competition, Chair of the Committee on Research in Economic History of the Economic History Association, Member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the American Studies Program of the American Council of Learned Societies, and as Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Economic History.

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