Former Interim President Michael Bernstein at the student media briefing on Dec. 4, 2019. Bernstein will be stepping down from his position as provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs on Oct. 1.  GARY GHAYRAT/STATESMAN FILE

Stony Brook University’s former Interim President Michael Bernstein will step down from his position as provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs on Oct. 1. 

Bernstein’s resignation was announced through an email from the president’s office that circulated amongst Stony Brook faculty on Sept. 2. Bernstein began his role as provost in 2016, and had planned to step down before he assumed his role as interim president after former President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. stepped down to become president of Michigan State University. Stony Brook University suspended the search for a new provost in Aug. 2019.

Bernstein resumed his provost position this summer to ensure continuity into the academic year for President Maurie McInnis, who took office on July 1.

“During the leadership transition and onset of the global pandemic, Michael’s steady hand helped the University and Stony Brook Medicine effectively adapt to rapid changes and respond to the health crisis,” McInnis wrote in the announcement. “His efforts were crucial to our planning for the launch of the fall semester during an uncertain and challenging time.”

Stony Brook students protested the administration’s lack of transparency and poor communication during the height of the COVID-19 crisis on Mar. 11. The next day, Bernstein hosted a panel on the coronavirus, which was streamed live on Stony Brook University’s Facebook page.

Since the start of the fall semester, Bernstein has steered the reopening of campus providing safety instructions to Stony Brook students and faculty through a set of guidelines which include social distancing protocols and the mandatory use of face coverings in classroom settings. 

According to the Sept. 2 announcement, the president’s office plans to announce an interim provost in the near future. 

Bernstein did not respond to The Statesman’s request to comment before this article was published. 


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