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President Casper announces search for new provost
STANFORD -- The search for a successor to Provost Gerald Lieberman will begin soon, President Gerhard Casper told the Faculty Senate on Thursday, Jan. 21.
He reiterated past statements that he expects the new provost to be selected from the Stanford faculty ranks.
Casper said he had asked Lieberman, whom he praised for "breaking in the new president," to remain in the position until Sept. 1. Lieberman, now 67, agreed in February 1992 to serve for up to 18 months as a successor to James N. Rosse.
Casper admitted it would be a challenge to run concurrent searches for provost and a new dean of humanities and sciences, an impending search Casper announced two weeks ago.
"We will have to accept this coincidence as yet another challenge, but also as an opportunity," Casper said.
He said he viewed the appointments as "two of the most important choices I shall have to make" because the selected individuals will share with him and the other deans responsibility for the quality of faculty appointments, selection of the student body, and the graduate and undergraduate education Stanford provides.
Professor Albert Elsen, art, asked Casper if the new humanities and sciences dean might be from the outside, in light of his preference for an insider as provost.
"I would be very surprised if that happened," Casper said, but he added that he would not close off the possibility completely.
Professor Ronald Rebholz, chairman of English, asked how the process would work, given that the provost in the past has appointed the dean.
"Life will be very interesting," Casper responded. "We'll find some way to think about those searches together."
Lieberman will continue to have full provostial authority during the search, Casper said. The search process will begin with Casper asking the Faculty Senate Committee on Committees to suggest names of potential committee members.
Casper told the senate that the "university and its history books will, indeed, thank Jerry for his generosity of spirit and his willingness to mentor the newcomer."
He said Lieberman has always been "gentle and thoughtful. He has even been funny. His and my own sense of humor seem to match, which has made our countless sessions with one another rather more entertaining than I had any right to expect.
"Rarely in our lives . . . do we have the good fortune of getting to know somebody whom we instantly trust, like and respect for his intellect and judgment. This has been the case of my encounter with Professor Lieberman," Casper said.
Noting that he rarely speaks in religious terms, he restated a comment made recently in Campus Report: Lieberman "has been God's greatest blessing."
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