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Veteran faculty leader Lieberman named interim provost

STANFORD -- Gerald J. Lieberman, a veteran faculty leader and professor of operations research and statistics, has been named Stanford University's interim provost.

He will succeed James N. Rosse, who recently announced he will become president and chief executive officer of Freedom Newspapers Inc. in mid-April.

Lieberman, 66, has agreed to start work immediately on the condition he can continue to teach his current class, President Donald Kennedy said in announcing Lieberman's appointment to the University Board of Trustees on Tuesday, Feb. 11. An overlap period between Rosse and Lieberman will allow for a smoother transition, Kennedy said.

"I am thrilled that Jerry Lieberman has agreed to serve Stanford once again in a senior administrative capacity," Kennedy said. "He has played all the provostial positions and played them well.

"Most important of all, he has the confidence and the regard of this faculty."

The provost is the university's chief academic officer and chief budget officer. Lieberman previously served as acting provost in 1979 before Kennedy took over the position.

Kennedy, who announced last July that he would step down as president in August, recently told the Faculty Senate that he would name an interim provost who understood that he or she would serve as a transition to Stanford's ninth president, who "must be free to name her or his provost."

Lieberman will begin meeting immediately with the University Cabinet and vice presidents to acquaint himself with current administrative issues, Kennedy said.

Rosse, who has been responsible for preparing a plan for closing a $43-million budget gap in the non-medical portion of Stanford's operating budget, has announced he will join Freedom Newspapers on April 16, a few days after the budget reduction plan is to be presented to university trustees.

In describing Lieberman's transitional role to the trustees, Kennedy said that "Stanford's great need in this period is to complete and capture the budget reductions, but, more important, to proceed to the next phase of examining our academic organizations and restructuring ourselves. Jerry is in an ideal position to start on that process so it will be ready for our successors to take over."

Lieberman's other main task is the "quintessential duty of the provost, which is the maintenance of academic excellence," Kennedy said.

Lieberman has served in numerous administrative and other leadership capacities since joining the faculty in 1952. In addition to acting provost, he has been a vice provost, dean of research and dean of graduate studies. He also helped create the interdisciplinary field of operations research.

He was awarded the Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award for exceptional service to Stanford in 1985, and he recently chaired the Centennial Operating Committee.



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