Stony Brook University will announce today that Dr. Dennis Assanis, a distinguished engineering professor at the University of Michigan has been appointed as the next provost of the university.

The appointment comes one month after Eric Kaler, the previous provost, stepped down to accept the position of President at the University of Minnesota. Assanis will officially assume the role on October 1.

“I am honored and thrilled to join President Sam Stanley and his exceptional team to pursue the vision of making Stony Brook one of the leading public Universities in the US and the world,” said Dr. Assanis in a statement.

The appointment of Dr. Assanis leaves two administrators with heavy backgrounds in the hard sciences at the helm of the university. President Samuel Stanley came to Stony Brook University in 2009 as a highly regarded medical researcher.

The search committee tasked with finding the next provost convened several times during the Spring 2011 semester to gather input from professors and students on what they are looking for in a new provost. Professor Michael Zweig offered the most succinct description at the time: “We would hope any candidate would be like Eric Kaler.”

Zweig may get his wish. Like Assanis, Kaler came to Stony Brook University with a background in engineering.

“Out of a superb pool of candidates, Dr. Assanis rose to the top, thanks to his energy and vision. He will help Dr. Stanley take Stony Brook to the next level,” said History Professor Nancy Tomes, the co-chair of the search committee, in a statement.

In addition to his professorship at Michigan, Assanis also serves as the director of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute, a university-affiliated program that works with alternative energy. He is also the founding director of the US-China Clean Energy Research Center’s Clean Vehicles initiative.

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