Fierke Welcomed as New Provost

Head shot of a woman with shoulder-length light-colored hair, parted in the middle.
Carol A. Fierke, PhD’84

On Jan. 1, internationally recognized biochemist Carol A. Fierke, PhD’84, joined Brandeis as its new provost and executive vice president. In this role, Fierke will serve as chief academic officer, responsible for teaching, learning, scholarship and research across the university; exercise broad oversight of the many dimensions of academic life; and lead institutional priority setting related to Brandeis’ Framework for the Future.

Previously, Fierke had been provost and executive vice president at Texas A&M University since 2017. Before that, she spent a number of years at the University of Michigan, where she began as a biological chemistry and chemistry professor, and served in several leadership roles, including as dean of the Rackham Graduate School and vice provost.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Carl­eton College, Fierke earned a doctoral degree in biochemistry at Brandeis, then did a postdoctoral fellowship at Pennsylvania State and began her faculty career at Duke. An enzymologist, Fierke has published hundreds of papers and received dozens of awards.

At Brandeis, Fierke succeeds Lisa M. Lynch, a world-renowned economist who joined the university as dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management in 2008, became provost in 2014 and served as interim president from 2015-16. After a sabbatical, Lynch will return to Brandeis as the Heller School’s Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy.

Throughout her time in academic leadership and as a scientist, Fierke has championed the careers of women and people from underrepresented backgrounds in the sciences and the academy, and has led administrative initiatives to attract, retain and support diverse faculty and students.

“Dr. Fierke will bring to Brandeis a history of success in managing the operations of complex research institutions,” says President Ron Liebowitz. “Her academic career in both research and mentorship has embodied the type of connectivity and excellence that makes Brandeis distinctive. And as a consensus builder with a demonstrated commitment to making institutions more diverse, equitable and inclusive, Dr. Fierke is already a champion of the values that have defined the Brandeis community since 1948.”