University President Richard Levin will announce the appointment of Yale’s new provost this afternoon, the News has learned.

A ceremony is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., and the appointment will likely be announced in an e-mail to the community around the same time. Levin’s selection, who will be Yale’s chief administrative and academic officer after the president himself, will replace Andrew Hamilton, who will take the helm of the University of Oxford next fall.

Levin’s selection has been a tightly guarded secret, and there is little indication as to whom he plans to tap. The early frontrunners for

the position included Peter Salovey, the dean of Yale College, and Judy Chevalier ’89, the deputy provost for faculty development, but sources told the News earlier this summer that neither was particularly interested in the position.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the search process for Hamilton’s replacement proceeded to drag on longer than it first appeared. Indeed, after Salovey and Chevalier, the field for Yale’s number-two

position appeared wide open.

Possible candidates included Michael Donoghue, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and former head of the Peabody Museum; Ian Shapiro GRD ’83 LAW ’87, the director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies; Michael Snyder, a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology; Donald Green, the director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies; Charles Bailyn ’81, the director of undergraduate studies for astronomy; and Steven Girvin, the deputy provost for science and technology.

Hamilton, a chemistry professor, was appointed provost in 2004. He was confirmed as Oxford’s next vice-chancellor in June.