News | Administration

Provost Steele accepts position at Stanford

Provost Claude Steele will leave Columbia this summer to become the dean of Stanford University's School of Education, according to a University-wide email sent to students Monday afternoon.

Steele has served as Columbia's 21st Provost for two years after University President Lee Bollinger had appointed him to become the University's chief academic officer and the president's closest advisor.

"I'm really sad about this. I think Claude did a really fine job and would have been great with more time at Columbia," Bollinger said in a telephone interview with Spectator. "We have to respect the fact that people's lives, their friends and family, don't always come together the way you expect."

Steele was the first African-American to fill this post, following Allan Nevins Professor of History Alan Brinkley, who served from 2003-2009.

Provosts are typically drawn from the ranks of Columbia faculty. Since the days of John Mitchell Mason, who became Columbia’s first provost in 1811, virtually every man to hold the position has first been a Columbia professor, an advantage Steele did not have over his predecessors.

Bollinger said he expects to appoint an interim provost in the next two weeks and release details about how the next provost will be selected shortly after that.

Steele told Spectator that while he has mixed emotions about the move, he is looking forward to returning to teaching again and conducting research on education at Stanford.

"After a certain age you only have so many epochs left in a career. I'd like this final epoch to be dedicated to this," he said, referring to his research on achievement differences across groups of students. Steele's research on the "stereotype threat", a theory that people who belong to negatively-stereotyped groups operate under an anxiety that they will confirm stereotypes about their group, is well-known among educators and social scientists.

As provost, Steele was 
responsible
 for
 faculty
 appointments
 and 
tenure
 recommendations
 and 
overseeing 

financial
 planning
 and 
budgeting, often contentious issues at a University. However Steele said he always enjoyed the work.

"Even though people have inevitable differences about those kind of issues, the art of the provost is to steer people toward the most rational choices and compromises. That was something I immensely enjoyed doing."

At Stanford, Steele had served as the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences and director of Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He had been teaching psychology in Stanford since 1991, and worked as the department's chair from 1997 to 2000.

Steele 
taught
 at 
the
 University 
of 
Utah, 
the 
University 
of 
Washington 
and 
the
 University 
of
 Michigan 
before
 joining 
Stanford. He received his bachelors degree at Hiram 
College
 and 
a doctorate in psychology from Ohio 
State
 
University.

He will rejoin two children and a set of grandchildren on the West Coast over the summer and begin his position at Stanford on September 1.

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Anonymous posted on

Good move Steele. Columbia University and it affiliates are not the kind of places where black people can or should overstay their welcome. Things can take a dark turn if they do.
Columbia University and its affiliates have a definite agenda as you surely realized as Provost. Challenging that very agenda might have lead to professional ruin. Why? For what? For THEM? At YOUR demise?
Good luck moving forward.

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Anonymous posted on

Who is this clown? Judging by his grammar, he sounds like one of O'Reilly's stooges - certainly not educated at Columbia. The editors should remove these kinds of racist, threatening tea party-style comments from the Spec.

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Anonymous posted on

It is clear that Provost Steele simply could NOT take the RACIST HYPOCRISY of Mr. Bollinger any more who uses
Blacks and other minorities as pawns in his own career boosting games, including doubling his own salary to to
unprecedented $1.4 Million after a series of unbelivable racial incidents at Columbia University including
Anti-Racism Hunger-Strikes.

Dr. Steele, I hope you write a book about the closet-racist Bollinger and the games he plays with minority peoples'
lives.
 
- Racial Equality Struggles For Columbia University Employees (RESCUE) Ad Hoc Committee

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Anonymous posted on

This dude is Randy Raghavendra, a local crazy man who was formerly employed at Columbia. His shtick for the past few years is to write these incomprehensible rants in Spec and Bwog and somehow tie everything wrong with the world to alleged incidents of racial discrimination. Ignore him.

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Anonymous posted on

This so-called "Old Timer" is probaly some crazy White dude who has absolutely NO idea what "Racism" is and he/she pretends to know every thing. May be the U.S. Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court will decide who is crazy or racist because this RESCUE Committee case is going all the way to the highest courts of this land. 

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Anonymous posted on

Actually, Randy, I'm about as brown as you. Randy was passed up for a promotion about 8 years ago, and since then has been banging this drum about racial discrimination and making noise about appealing to the Supreme Court. It's embarrassing, really.

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Anonymous posted on

Old Timer,

Being "brown" does not mean that you are NOT an "Uncle Tom".  Uncle Toms are the worst racists.
Look at Judge Clarence Thomas in the US Supreme Court. Are you Blacker than him?. You just don't know
the facts the RESCUE Commitee litigation,  So, just SHUT UP and stop being such an embarassment for the
rest of the "Minority Community" and being a "Back-Stabber." 

I am sure Clarence Thomas will be buddy-buddy with you and David Duke can be be "Master."  

 

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Anonymous posted on

Randy, stop embarrassing yourself and ranting in the comments section of an undergraduate paper. You're absolutely nuts. You were passed up for promotion and then fired 8 years ago not for reasons of racial discrimination but because you were incompetent, and then tried to sue the university. Also, I never said I'm black. I'm brown. For that matter, you're not black either, swami.

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Anonymous posted on

Old Timer

Brown "Uncle Toms" are worse than Black "Uncle Toms" because you can be a back-stabber for both the Blacks and the Whites; So, you STOP embarassing yourself. You are making a TOTAL FOOL of yourself. It is Traitors like you that allow for the continuing illegal discrimination. You don's know a shit about the Mission of the RESCUE Committee and you are talking about some non-sense. Just do yourself a favor and just SHUT UP before everybody knows what kind of a total moron you are.    

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Anonymous posted on

Randy, I'm Indian, as in brown, as in from the subcontinent, as in a
desi. Understand? Also, if this is how you communicate, then I'm too
optimistic that you'll successfully carry out the "Mission of the RESCUE Committee" either.

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Anonymous posted on

Two years is a suspiciously short tenure.

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