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Kornbluth Named President of MIT

As Provost, Kornbluth has prioritized faculty excellence and the student experience

Provost Sally Kornbluth will become president of MIT in January. Photo by Jared Lazarus
Provost Sally Kornbluth will become president of MIT in January. Photo by Jared Lazarus

Duke University Provost Sally Kornbluth has been appointed president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

A member of the Duke faculty since 1994, Kornbluth has served as Duke’s chief academic officer since 2014. She will assume the presidency of MIT in January.

“As Duke’s provost, Sally has been a bold leader, a respected voice in the academy, and – above all – a committed advocate for Duke’s students, faculty and staff,” said Duke President Vincent E. Price. “I am deeply grateful for her efforts, which have transformed Duke into a more innovative, inclusive community of scholars and will benefit our university for many years to come. I also thank her for her wise counsel and friendship throughout my time at Duke – and I wish her the very best as she pursues this extraordinary opportunity.”

In 2017, Kornbluth created Duke’s Office for Faculty Advancement to promote faculty excellence campus-wide through equitable recruitment and hiring practices, faculty career development offerings, and programs to foster an equitable campus climate.

Kornbluth has also championed diversity within her own leadership team of deans, vice provosts and unit directors.

"Sally has assembled a world-class team of leaders who are delivering on our vision for Duke’s future, and who will collaborate closely with her successor to continue this work,” Price said.

As provost, Kornbluth has overseen focused hiring initiatives to substantially increase Duke’s strengths in quantitative science, and science and technology more broadly. She has created and strengthened mechanisms to build intellectual communities and promote interdisciplinary scholarship and education throughout the university.

Kornbluth has invested in making Duke more accessible and affordable for undergraduate and graduate students, through initiatives such as the Rubenstein Scholars program, creation of the DukeLIFE program supporting first generation and low-income students, and the introduction of a range of benefits and programs to support Ph.D. students.

Under Kornbluth’s leadership, the university has debuted educational and campus life innovations including Spring Breakthrough and the QuadEx living and learning model for undergraduates, as well as the Duke Graduate Academy and other programs to prepare graduate students for success in a wide array of professional contexts.

Prior to her appointment as provost, Kornbluth served for eight years as vice dean for basic science at the School of Medicine. Kornbluth’s spouse, Daniel Lew, also joined the Duke faculty in 1994 and is the James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology in the School of Medicine.

Price has appointed Executive Vice Provost Jennifer Francis to serve as interim provost while the university conducts a national search for Kornbluth’s successor.