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Khoury named associate provost

Philip S. Khoury
Philip S. Khoury

MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif today announced that Philip S. Khoury, the Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, will become associate provost of MIT, effective July 1.

Khoury succeeds Professor Alan Brody, who announced earlier this year his intention to step down as associate provost for the arts at the end of the academic year, when he will return to teaching and playwriting as a member of the music and theater arts faculty.

As associate provost, Khoury will oversee and enhance MIT's co-curricular and nonacademic arts programs and will work closely with the senior administration, including the school deans, to develop the financial resources and facilities required to advance the arts at MIT, Reif said in a letter to the MIT community.

In addition to his responsibilities for the arts, Khoury will work to strengthen major interdepartmental educational, research and community-based initiatives, help to develop and implement a strategic plan for MIT's international initiatives, and coordinate MIT's efforts to promote and enhance deeper public discourse on questions of science, technology, society and policy, Reif said.��

"I am delighted that Professor Khoury has agreed to take on these new responsibilities following his exceptional 15-year tenure as dean of humanities, arts and social sciences," Reif said. "Under his leadership as dean, the visibility and stature of MIT's humanities, arts and social sciences programs increased considerably. In conjunction with the school's 50th anniversary, the arts were added to the name of the school, reflecting their growing importance in its scholarly and educational programs."

The provost also noted that under Khoury's leadership, the "school's five doctoral programs -- among the best in the nation -- were further enhanced, two new graduate programs were established -- the master's programs in comparative media studies and in science writing, and the school's international education and research activities grew significantly, especially its East Asian studies faculty and programs."

A noted political and social historian of the modern Middle East, with special interests in comparative urban history and politics and in comparative nationalist movements, Khoury joined the history faculty at MIT as an assistant professor in 1981. He became associate dean in 1987, full professor and acting dean in 1990, and dean of the school in 1991.

A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a past president of the Middle East Studies Association, he is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Historical Association and the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies. He currently serves as vice chairman of the board of the American University of Beirut, chairman of the World Peace Foundation, and as a trustee of Trinity College and of the Toynbee Prize Foundation.

Khoury commented, " I have been enormously privileged to serve these many years as dean of SHASS, with its distinguished faculty, outstanding staff and superb undergraduate and graduate students. SHASS has been my home for 25 years and it will always be my first home at MIT. And I am excited about working closely with President Hockfield, Provost Reif and other senior officers to help realize a number of important opportunities for the arts and international research and education at the Institute, and to enhance activities at the intersections of our five schools."

Reif announced that he will begin the process of selecting a new dean of humanities, arts and social sciences soon. He invited comments or thoughts on the position and said that letters may be sent to him confidentially at the Office of the Provost, Room 3-208, or via e-mail to

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 12, 2006 (download PDF).

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