Journal Archive > 2001 > September

Mel Bernstein

Mel Bernstein
© Richard Howard

Bernstein is Brandeis University’s new provost

Mel Bernstein, vice president for Arts, Sciences and Engineering since 1991, has started work as the new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Brandeis University.

Bernstein filled many crucial roles during his decade at Tufts. Among them, he was one of the early architects and supporters of the new student services center and advocated for shared governance with faculty.

Bernstein came to Tufts from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he was chancellor and academic vice president. Previously, he was professor and head of metallurgical engineering and materials science as well as associate dean at Carnegie Mellon University.

Bernstein said that during his time at Tufts he saw the university become much stronger, with an enhanced ability to recruit and retain excellent faculty and students. “Arts, Sciences and Engineering is much more diverse and more effectively reflects the world around us,” he said. “The institution is more self-confident and more sure-footed in this competitive global environment”

Bernstein called the 1990s a “magic time for universities” because of the strong economy and said that Tufts has taken excellent advantage of that by making a number of sound strategic investments.

He said he felt he had contributed to the current climate of increased diversity, both in people and programs, and that he had brought “openness and a candid discussion to the community so that faculty, students and staff were informed and understood the basis for some of the choices we made.” He also said he was pleased with the progress made in improving student services and was disappointed that he would not be here to see the next stage.

“I will miss the people. The people make an institution,” he said. “[Former president] Jean Mayer told me I’d find this a warm, friendly place. It’s important to wake up in the morning and look forward to the day, and I always felt that here.”