Mary C. Boyce Appointed University Provost

Columbia Engineering dean and incoming University provost Mary C. Boyce
Mary C. Boyce (Jeffrey Schifman / Columbia Engineering)

Mary C. Boyce, the dean of Columbia Engineering, has been appointed University provost, effective July 1, 2021. She will be the first woman ever to serve in that position at Columbia.

As provost, Boyce will be the University’s chief academic officer, overseeing all faculty appointments and tenure decisions, as well as the development of the University’s annual academic budget. Ira Katznelson ’66CC, a professor of political science and history, has served as interim provost since John Coatsworth stepped down in 2019.

Boyce, who is an expert in nanotechnology and materials research, taught at MIT for twenty-five years before coming to Columbia to lead its engineering school in 2013. The first female dean of Columbia Engineering, she has since helped to establish the school as a leading center of multidisciplinary and translational research, encouraging faculty to collaborate with colleagues in other fields to find creative solutions to pressing global problems.

“The school has thrived, buoyed by her celebration of intellectual creativity in all its forms,” said President Lee C. Bollinger in announcing Boyce’s new appointment. “Propelled by a firm belief in the value of interdisciplinary work, Mary has led in establishing connections between Columbia Engineering and other parts of the University. Due to her determined efforts, we now have more faculty working together in areas such as data science, nanoscience, sensing and imaging, sustainability, and engineering in medicine.”

Under Boyce, the engineering school has also significantly expanded its faculty, increased financial aid for students, and added a wealth of new research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

“Mary has also been influential in her contributions to the University at large,” Bollinger wrote. “She has been an important advisor on virtually every one of the many new initiatives we have set forth over the past several years. In short, Mary is an accomplished scholar, an effective leader, and a consummate University citizen. I am delighted she has agreed to serve as Provost and look forward to working even more closely with her in the years to come.”