Columbia University Provost Mary Boyce to Leave Her Post to Return to Teaching

Mary Boyce has announced that she will step down as provost of Columbia University in New York City on June 30, 2023. She plans to take a scholarly leave and return to research and teaching as a member of the engineering faculty at the university.

Boyce’s tenure at Columbia stretches back to 2013 when she joined the university community as dean of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. She was named provost in 2021.

Dr. Boyce wrote in a letter to deans and senior administrators, “My decision to step away from university administration at Columbia was not an easy one, as I have found the past 10 years to be rewarding in countless ways. The opportunity to lead Columbia Engineering during an era of intellectual and physical transformation, recruiting and supporting an exceptional faculty and student body, including a historic number of female faculty and students, as well as an expansion and renewal of our many research and teaching spaces and programs, gives me enormous pride. The guiding vision of Columbia Engineering for Humanity captures our unique strengths in engineering and the many collaborations across this premier university. When President Bollinger asked me to serve as provost, I was hesitant to give up a job I loved, but I believed strongly in advancing Columbia’s unique capacity to engage in world-class scholarship with real-world impact. It has been an honor to serve our faculty and students in this role.”

Dr. Boyce began her academic career as an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She rose through the professorial ranks to head the department of mechanical engineering from 2008 to 2013. Her research blends fundamental mechanics with the study of the microstructure and behaviors of physical materials, particularly natural and man-made polymers, and soft composites.

Dr. Boyce earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering science and mechanics from Virginia Tech. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT.

Filed Under: Retirements


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