Interim President Bernstein at the student media briefing on Dec. 4, 2019. He has formally withdrawn his name from Stony Brook University’s presidential search. GARY GHAYRAT/THE STATESMAN

Interim President Michael Bernstein has formally withdrawn his name from Stony Brook University’s presidential search, according to a statement emailed to The Statesman on Jan. 25.

“As he considered his future career options, he felt he needed the freedom to pursue external professional opportunities, without the complication of being an internal candidate at Stony Brook,” Lauren Sheprow, the university media relations officer, wrote in the email.

Bernstein initially announced his interest in the permanent position at a media roundtable on Dec. 4. He said that he would be taking nearly a decade of experience as a provost at Tulane University in addition to his experience at Stony Brook to the table. 

However, before he took up the interim position in August, Bernstein was apparently contemplating retirement. During an interview with TBR News Media, Bernstein said that he had been planning to step down from his provost position and move to San Diego. 

The search for a permanent university president has been underway since September, when the members of the presidential search committee were announced. Since then, there have been periodic updates — most recently on Jan. 23. 

A campus-wide email announced that interviews with potential candidates are expected to begin next week and potentially continue through mid-February. 

The presidential search committee expects to present its top five choices to the Stony Brook Council this winter.

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