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Strobel is appointed provost of Yale University

Longtime medical school faculty member will oversee Yale academics and budget

Scott Strobel
Scott Strobel is Yale University’s incoming provost. In his more than 20 years at the university, he has led such top-level initiatives as the University Science Strategy Committee, which he chaired.

Scott A. Strobel, PhD, Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, has been named the university’s next provost, effective January 1. The provost is Yale’s chief academic and budgetary officer.

“From chairing the University Science Strategy Committee to leading the development of the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, Scott has been an integral part of our efforts to realize the university’s mission of research, scholarship, education, preservation, and practice,” President Peter Salovey, PhD ’86, wrote Nov. 6 in a campus-wide email announcing the appointment.

He has served as chair of the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (2006-2009), vice president for West Campus planning and program development (2011-2019), deputy provost for teaching and learning (2014-2019), and vice provost for science initiatives (2019).

Through these roles, Salovey wrote, “Scott has developed a profound appreciation for all parts of Yale’s academic enterprise: arts, humanities, social science, and sciences and engineering. He has worked closely with the professional schools and the FAS [Faculty of Arts & Sciences]. He has partnered with faculty from across the university … and worked tirelessly in support of our students. As provost, his academic and budgetary leadership will extend to every part of Yale.”

Strobel earned his PhD from the California Institute of Technology under Peter Dervan, PhD ’72. He pursued postdoctoral research at the University of Colorado with Thomas Cech, PhD, who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Yale Professor Sidney Altman, PhD.

Since joining the Yale faculty in 1995, Strobel has won awards for promoting undergraduate education, mentoring graduate students, and leading research programs at the intersection of chemistry and structural biology.

Strobel succeeds Ben Polak, PhD, the provost since 2013. Polak, the William C. Brainard Professor of Economics and professor of management, will return to the faculty full time.

“It’s a special honor to be offered this role,” Strobel said, “and I’m grateful to President Salovey for the trust he places in me to help shape and shepherd Yale’s ambitious agenda. This university is on sure footing thanks to him and to Ben Polak, who has been a remarkable example of integrity, discipline, commitment, and strategic acumen. I’ve benefitted from his example, and I’m honored to succeed him.

“Yale has long epitomized intellectual teamwork,” he continued. “The academic priorities we’re pursuing together are as interdependent as they are distinct, and that’s by design: The world calls for people and approaches that break boundaries to improve the world. I look forward to supporting our amazing faculty in the full expression of that work.”