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About the Provost


The provost works to maintain and enhance the university’s excellence in teaching, scholarship and outreach, and is responsible for strategic planning and budgeting, tenure and promotion, academic and research initiatives, and general academic supervision of the Ithaca campus.

The provost acts as the university’s chief academic officer and chief operations officer, and serves as the president’s first deputy officer. The provost oversees all academic programs and units of the university, other than those reporting to the provost for medical affairs.

In carrying out these responsibilities, the provost works directly with the deans of the colleges, schools, and faculties and with the vice provosts as well as other members of the provost’s executive staff.

Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff, V.M.D., Ph.D.

Michael I. Kotlikoff
Michael I. Kotlikoff

Michael I. Kotlikoff, professor of molecular physiology, became the 16th provost of Cornell University on August 1, 2015. As the university’s chief academic officer, chief budgeting officer, and first deputy officer to the president, he works to enhance the university’s excellence in teaching, scholarship, and outreach.

His signature initiative, Radical Collaborations, recruits faculty and supports infrastructure in seven key multidisciplinary areas: nanoscale science and molecular engineering, genome biology, data science, sustainability, the social sciences, infection biology, and the humanities and arts. Kotlikoff has also initiated efforts to invest in academic and student housing facilities, re-evaluate curricula, and implement effective academic technologies, as well as developing policies to facilitate greater faculty diversity and dual career hiring across the colleges.

Kotlikoff was previously the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell (2007–2015). He enhanced programs in education, animal health care, and research, and launched an $87 million capital project to upgrade infrastructure and teaching facilities and enable an increase in the pre-clinical class size. Prior to becoming dean, he was founding chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and chair of the Mammalian Genomics Life Science Initiative.

As provost, Kotlikoff continues to maintain his laboratory, which has been continually funded by the NIH for over 30 years and is internationally recognized in the area of cardiovascular biology.

Kotlikoff received his B.A. (literature) and V.M.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in physiology from the University of California, Davis.

History of Cornell’s Provosts