If President Simmons is the visionary behind the Plan for Academic Enrichment, Provost Robert Zimmer has been its chief implementer. With so much of the plan focused on academic expansion, the provost’s role is to make sure the faculty members hired and buildings built are the best ones for accomplishing the University’s intellectual mission.
Now that Zimmer has left to become president of the University of Chicago, Simmons has chosen professor and chairman of anthropology David Kertzer ’69 to succeed him.
An academic who has twice won the Marraro Prize from the Society of Italian Historical Studies for the best book on Italian history, Kertzer was also a National Book Award finalist for his 1997 book, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.
As an adminstrator he developed the anthropological demography program and was founding director of the Watson Institute’s Politics, Culture, and Identity research program.