Provost Sally Kornbluth named MIT's next president, will assume role in January

Sally Kornbluth is Duke's first female provost.
Sally Kornbluth is Duke's first female provost.

Provost Sally Kornbluth has been named the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s 18th president and will assume the role in January, according to a Thursday release from Duke President Vincent Price. 

Kornbluth, the first woman at Duke to serve as provost, has held her position since 2014, developing the university’s teaching and research mission. She oversees Duke's 10 schools and six institutes, including admissions, financial aid, libraries and other facets of academic and student life. She joined the Duke faculty in 1994 as an assistant professor of molecular cancer biology. 

Kornbluth, 61, was elected to the position Thursday morning and will succeed current MIT President L. Rafael Reif on Jan. 1, 2023, according to an MIT release. She will remain at Duke through December.

“The ethos of MIT, where groundbreaking research and education are woven into the DNA of the institution, is thrilling to me,” Kornbluth said in MIT’s release. “The primary role of academic leadership is in attracting outstanding scholars and students, and in supporting their important work. And when it comes to the impact of that work, MIT is unparalleled — in the power of its innovations, in its ability to move those innovations into the world, and in its commitment to discovery, creativity, and excellence.”

Kornbluth was selected by a 20-member presidential search committee from approximately 250 possible candidates. 

“Today is a great day not only for MIT — but also for Duke. I am thrilled for Sally as she pursues this well-deserved opportunity, and all of us can feel tremendous pride in her appointment. Provost Kornbluth has been a transformational figure at Duke, and President Kornbluth will be an extraordinary academic leader and administrator for MIT, a committed advocate for faculty, students, and staff, and a bold voice for innovation and inclusion in the academy,” Price wrote in an email to Duke students, faculty and staff. 

Executive Vice Provost Jennifer Francis will serve as interim provost as Duke plans a nationwide search for Kornbluth’s successor, according to Price’s email.

“The presidency of MIT is a wonderful responsibility,” says outgoing President L. Rafael Reif, per MIT's release. “Known for her brilliance, wide-ranging curiosity, and collaborative, down-to-earth style, Sally Kornbluth is a terrific choice to lead our distinctive community, and I look forward to seeing MIT continue to flourish under her leadership.”

This is a developing story and will be updated if more information becomes available. 

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Kathryn Thomas | News Editor

Kathryn Thomas is a Trinity junior and news editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

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Milla Surjadi | Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator

Milla Surjadi is a Trinity junior and a diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator of The Chronicle's 119th volume. She was previously editor-in-chief for Volume 118.


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