The former Penn provost had resigned to pursue the presidency of the University of Texas at Austin. Provost Stanley Chodorow lost his fifth known bid for a university's top post, as the University of Texas announced December 16 that another candidate will be the next president of its flagship Austin campus. The University of Texas System Board of Regents named Larry Faulkner, provost of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as president of the country's largest university. The announcement came 1 1/2 months after Chodorow resigned his Penn position, effective December 31, to pursue the UT-Austin post. Chodorow, 54, who came to Penn in July 1994 from the University of California at San Diego, declined to comment yesterday. His tenure began on a rocky note, as he was criticized for his handling of a controversial new student judicial code, among other matters. But he won praise in recent years for increasing the levels of student involvement in planning projects such as the Perelman Quadrangle. In December, Chodorow said he would probably return to full-time teaching at Penn if he was not named to the UT-Austin post. Since October 1996, Chodorow had been a finalist for the top positions at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Arizona at Tucson and New Orleans' Tulane University. He lost the bids at Michigan, UCLA and Arizona, and voluntarily withdrew from the Tulane search in November. At the time, he explained that UT-Austin was "a better match." Chodorow was the only candidate from a private university to pursue the UT-Austin post. Faulkner also bested finalists Shirley Strum Kenny, president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and University of Wisconsin at Madison Provost John Wiley. A fifth candidate, Ohio State University Provost Richard Sisson, withdrew December 5 to become interim president of the Columbus school. Although UT regents were tight-lipped about their decision prior to the final announcement, earlier in December student leaders had urged the school's governors not to appoint Chodorow, stressing he would have difficulty gaining students' trust, according to a December 8 article in The Daily Texan. The UT-Austin students also recommended against Faulkner's appointment. Faulkner, a chemist, wasn't at ease around students and didn't have clear ideas about the issues facing UT-Austin, the student newspaper reported. On December 8, Penn named Deputy Provost Michael Wachter to the position of interim provost. Officials expect to begin the search for a new chief academic officer later this month and announce their selection by next summer. Former UT-Austin President Robert Berdahl left the school June 30 to become chancellor at the University of California at Berkeley. Although it is not yet known when Faulkner will take office, the system's regents hope he will begin his term early this year. Penn President Judith Rodin was traveling in the Far East last week and was unavailable for comment.Comments powered by Disqus
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