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Michael Bernstein Named Interim President of Stony Brook University

Michael Bernstein

Dr. Michael Alan Bernstein has been appointed Interim President of Stony Brook University, effective on or about August 1, 2019.  Bernstein’s appointment was codified today via a resolution passed during a SUNY Board of Trustees public session.

Michael Bernstein
Interim President Designee Michael Bernstein

“Michael is an outstanding selection for this role,” said outgoing President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “During his three-year tenure as Provost and Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Stony Brook, he has made extraordinary contributions to every aspect of the University. His decisive and energetic leadership has been welcome and needed, and Stony Brook University is fortunate to have his steady hand at the helm going forward.”

Bernstein was appointed Stony Brook University Provost in October 2016. As Provost, he oversaw numerous initiatives aimed at supporting the University’s missions in research, scholarship, art-making, and teaching. He laid special emphasis on measures enhancing diversity and inclusion.

“I am filled with enormous gratitude for the opportunity to serve Stony Brook University in this new role,” Bernstein said. “Our University is a spectacular place — and it flourishes today due to the impact of an exemplary decade of accomplishment, growth, and excellence that is Sam Stanley’s legacyI eagerly look forward to my ongoing work with faculty, staff, and students in pursuit of our shared mission as one of the nation’s premier academic institutions.”

Bernstein came to Stony Brook from Tulane University, where he served as the John Christie Barr Professor of History and Economics and Provost and Chief Academic Officer from 2007 through 2016.

Professor 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 the  Radical History Review 63 (Fall, 1995); and  A Perilous Progress: Economists and Public Purpose in Twentieth Century America (Princeton University Press, 2001).

Bernstein and Stanley
Bernstein with President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD

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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  • As a new family joining Stony Brook it is exciting to see the enthusiasm and great resume Professor Bernstein brings to the job. I am looking forward to seeing Stony Brook continue to grow in excellence. I do hope that at some point the incoming International students find the process a bit more streamlined from department to department.

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