Provost’s Office shuffles portfolios

Yale’s deputy provosts gathered early this summer for former Deputy Provost Charles “Chip” Long’s retirement parties — several of them, one hosted by University President Richard Levin, another by Provost Peter Salovey.

Then, without Long, they gathered to figure out how to replace him.

Although Long, for decades the chief of staff in the Provost’s Office on Hillhouse Avenue, still comes in a few times a week to clear out his desk and tidy up paperwork, the other members of the office have spent the months after his official retirement date of July 1 splitting his portfolio of schools and departments.

Salovey and the deputy provosts finalized the new divisions in a six-hour meeting last Wednesday. Each of the six deputy provosts handles budget planning and academic policy for one area of Yale, and by the end of Long’s 37-year career, his responsibilities had grown to include most of the social sciences, several professional schools, special library collections, the Faculty Handbook and retirement issues.

The portfolio changes the Provost’s Office decided on were largely based on matching deputy provosts with units they already had some experience handling, Deputy Provost Lloyd Suttle said.

Long had begun sharing many of his duties with Frances Rosenbluth, deputy provost for the social sciences and faculty development, in September 2009 to pave the way for his retirement, Salovey said. Rosenbluth has simply taken over full responsibility for those departments, which include anthropology, economics and sociology, as well as history.

“In the last year or two, in anticipation of Chip’s retirement, we were moving his social sciences portfolio to Frances Rosenbluth and humanities to [Deputy Provost for the Arts and Humanities] Emily Bakemeier,” Salovey said.

Rosenbluth will also now oversee the Law School, the School of Management and retirement policy, according to a new chart of provost responsibilities.

Bakemeier now handles the Berkeley Divinity School, Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music. Those new units are a good fit for her previous experience with the schools of Architecture, Art, Drama and Music, Suttle said.

Suttle, who as deputy provost for academic resources has overseen the Graduate School, Yale College, facilities planning and many student support services, picked up several special library collections from Long’s portfolio.

The MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, meanwhile, will go to Associate Provost for Science & Technology Tim O’Connor.

Units are easy enough to reassign, Salovey said, but Long will still be missed for his experience and knowledge of Yale.

“The thing that’ll be most difficult to replace is 40 years of wisdom,” Salovey said in an interview Friday. “You can’t just appoint someone for that.”

Long announced his retirement in April, saying that with the Provost’s Office “in good shape and in good hands,” he thought it was time to leave day-to-day responsibility behind and finish several of his long-term projects.

Suttle added that the provosts have settled quickly into their new portfolios — with the benefit of Long’s continued support.

“We’ve had two months to get used to it,” Suttle said. “And Chip is around enough so we have access to him. He’s not cut us off entirely.”

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