Yale College’s loss is Yale University’s gain.
The appointment last week of Peter Salovey to the role of provost catapults a popular undergraduate dean, with vision and talent, to the de facto helm of the University. Although Judy Chevalier, a deptuy provost and up-and-coming economics professor, would have been a brilliant choice, too, Salovey is ideal to lead Yale through its impending expansion.
From his perennial moustache — which he promised in an interview with the News not to shave upon assuming his new role — to his animated speaking style, Salovey has effectively served as the leader of undergraduates. Now, while students are happy for their dean’s promotion on the higher-education ladder, many (though not all) are dejected about the prospect of losing his presence.
But weep not. Although the provostship remains largely invisible to students, the new role means Salovey will enjoy significantly increased influence over the future of this University’s strategy and faculty. (And he says he plans to remain engaged in undergraduate life to boot.)
His stated number-one goal — to “make sure that we are recruiting absolutely the best faculty that we can on all levels and in all areas” — is well-advised, particularly his plan to actively seek new faculty as Yale expands, even if there are no vacancies.
But we are eagerly awaiting more specifics on how Yale can possibly expand the faculty so quickly while maintaining Yale’s historic standard of excellence.
Meanwhile, a certain impending vacancy at the College raises the question of who will be the next Salovey, a matter we will explore in coming weeks. Nominate professors for consideration by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.