College of Natural Sciences Dean Paul Goldbart poses for a portrait on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. Dr. Goldbart will be the new executive vice president and provost at Stony Brook University effective on March 22, 2021. PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

Paul Goldbart, the dean of the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), will assume the role of Stony Brook University’s new provost and executive vice president on March 22.

According to an email sent by President Maurie McInnis on Jan. 19, Goldbart will take over the role of provost from Fotis Sotiropolous, the interim provost who held the position after former provost and interim president Michael Bernstein stepped down from the position on Oct. 1, 2020. Sotiropoulos will return to his role as dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

“Dr. Goldbart is a passionate advocate for public research universities, which he describes as crucibles of human creativity, guardians of human capability, and places where students can discover who they are and how they can contribute to the world,” McInnis wrote in the email. “In addition to being a prolific scholar, Paul is an award-winning educator who is committed to nurturing and inspiring high-caliber instruction and assessment. A visionary leader, he has demonstrated success in faculty development, curricular innovation, strategic planning, fundraising, public engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion.”

As provost, Goldbart will act as the chief academic officer and lead the operations of the West Campus’s academic colleges, libraries, programs and budget practices. He also acts on behalf of the president in her absence.


“I’m a passionate advocate for public research universities such as Stony Brook University, which are crucibles of human creativity, guardians of human capability and places where students can discover who they are and how they can contribute to the world,” Goldbart said in a statement sent to the press. “Stony Brook is a superb example, powered by its remarkable staff, students and faculty; outstanding partner organizations in the region; and passionate, dedicated alumni and friends. I feel thrilled and fortunate to be joining the community that I have long admired — and I am grateful to President McInnis and the search committee for the opportunity.”

This is not the first time that Goldbart and McInnis have worked together; McInnis was provost at UT Austin when Goldbart became dean in 2018. In addition to his role as dean, he is the Robert E. Boyer chair in Natural Sciences, the Mary Ann Rankin leadership chair for the College of Natural Sciences and a professor at UT Austin. He received his bachelor’s degree in physics and theoretical physics from Cambridge University in 1981, his master’s degree in physics from University of California, Los Angeles in 1982 and a diploma in mathematical physics and Ph.D. in physics from Imperial College London in 1985. 

Before joining UT Austin, Goldbart was the dean of the College of Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Before that he spent 25 years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he led the Department of Energy program on Quantum Materials at the Nano Scale and was the founding director of the university’s Institute for Condensed Matter Theory. He has held fellowships in the American Physical Society and the U.K.’s Institute of Physics, where his research focuses on the physics of condensed matter. 


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