Alan Brinkley, who has served as University Provost for the past five years, will be stepping down from the position at the end of this year. The news was announced in an e-mail this evening to the Columbia University community. In the email, Brinkley writes that "I feel that it is now time for me to return to research and teaching." He also says he will serve until a successor is named.
Brinkley joined the faculty in 1991, and is probably best known to students for his extremely popular history lecture classes. The current iteration, "U.S. History 1919-45," is meeting this semester in the famous 309 Havemeyer lecture hall. Brinkley also has contributed to or written numerous books, including two widely-used high school textbooks. His time as Provost has been perhaps most recently marked by the tenure controversies surrounding Nadia Abu El-Haj and Joseph Massad. More importantly, though, he is the most popular Columbia professor on Facebook.