Provost Thomas Rosenbaum appointed Caltech President

Rosenbaum has served on the physics faculty since 1983 and as provost since 2007.

By Ankit Jain

Provost Thomas Rosenbaum is leaving one famously rigorous university for another. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) announced yesterday that Rosenbaum had been appointed President after an eight month search.

Rosenbaum will stay on as UChicago’s provost until the end of winter quarter and will remain on the faculty until the end of the academic year. He will begin his new position at Caltech on July 1, 2014.

In a press release, Caltech cited Rosenbaum’s extensive academic experience and several initiatives he led at UChicago as the rationale behind its choice. Among the achievements referenced were Rosenbaum’s efforts to launch the Institute for Molecular Engineering, his work in “strengthening the intellectual ties between the University of Chicago and Argonne National Lab,” and his efforts to establish and expand the UChicago Charter School.

President Robert Zimmer cited several of the same accomplishments when praising Rosenbaum in an e-mail sent to faculty, staff, and students.

“I am grateful to Tom for his extraordinary leadership,” Zimmer wrote. “In addition to helping guide the University through the financial crisis in a manner that preserved our highest priorities and values, he oversaw an historic expansion of the faculty during the same period…. During his leadership, among many initiatives, we launched the Institute for Molecular Engineering, the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, and the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.”

In an e-mail to University faculty, Rosenbaum affirmed that he will bring the University’s values with him to his new position.

“In my journey through various administrative positions I have been privileged to work with, learn from, and develop friendships with incredibly talented individuals across the academic byways of the University,” he wrote in the e-mail. “I have been shaped by and will carry with me the distinctive values of the University of Chicago, from its commitment to unflinching inquiry to its generosity of spirit.”

Rosenbaum, who is also the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor of Physics, has been a member of the faculty since 1983 and was appointed Provost in 2007.