Meet the Provost

Michael Kotlikoff

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 budget 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.

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

Michael I. Kotlikoff, professor of molecular physiology, became the 16th provost of Cornell 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 initiatives have enhanced collaborations throughout the university, focusing on several core institutional strengths. The Radical Collaborations initiative recruits faculty and supports infrastructure in key multidisciplinary areas, including artificial intelligence, genome biology, media studies and digital humanities, sustainability, nanoscale science, and many others. Collaboration between the medical, tech, and Ithaca campuses has been advanced through the Academic Integration initiative, and disciplines have been strengthened through the creation of six multi-college departments and two new schools, the Bowers College of Computing and Information Science and the Brooks School of Public Policy. Kotlikoff has also initiated efforts to invest in academic and student housing facilities, teaching innovation, and expanded educational access through online education, as well as developing policies to facilitate greater faculty diversity and dual-career hiring across the colleges.

Kotlikoff was recruited to Cornell in 2000 as the founding chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and chair of the Mammalian Genomics Life Science Initiative. Prior to being selected as provost, Kotlikoff served as the Austin O. Hooey dean of the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine. His laboratory is internationally recognized in cell signaling and heart repair and was continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 35 years, including during his tenure as dean and provost. He currently serves on the NIH Council of Councils.

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.