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MIT taps Chris Kaiser, former head of biology department, as new provost

Chris A. Kaiser, professor and former chairman of the Department of Biology at MIT, has been named the college’s new provost.

Kaiser succeeds L. Rafael Reif, who recently was appointed MIT’s president. Reif and Kaiser will assume the positions of president and provost, respectively, on July 2.

Kaiser, 55, of Concord, has been a member of faculty since 1991. He served as the biology department chairman from 2004 until earlier this year.

“A distinguished scholar and a master teacher in his field, he has also played a key role on a number of Institute-wide committees, advancing the broader mission of MIT with curiosity, creativity, empathy and a marvelous sense of humor,’’ Reif said of Kaiser in a statement. “I have no doubt that he will thrive as provost.’’

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The provost is MIT’s senior academic and budget officer who also oversees the recruitment and promotion of faculty with overall responsibility for the school’s educational programs.

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