Dr. Carol Fierke Ph.D. ’84 has been named the next Provost of Brandeis University, according to a Nov. 30 email from University President Ron Liebowitz. Fierke, who began as provost at the start of 2021, succeeded Lisa Lynch, who announced her intention to step down from being provost at the end of the spring 2020 semester. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lynch remained provost for an extra semester — fall 2020 — before taking a position as the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Prior to Brandeis, Fierke served as the provost and executive vice president at Texas A&M University, where she oversaw “seventeen colleges and schools, two special-purpose branch campuses, university libraries and academic affairs,” according to a Nov. 30 BrandeisNow article.

Fierke wrote to the Justice in a Feb. 19 email, Fierke explained that she began work as Brandeis' provost this semester from her previous residence in Texas and moved to the Waltham area in mid-February. In that email, she also expressed that she is excited to contribute to work on ongoing projects, such as the Framework for the Future and Black Action Plan.

Fierke also wrote that she is excited to work with the faculty, staff and students of the Brandeis community. Being a Brandeis alum, she noted that while there have been significant changes to Brandeis since she attended, the values of “intellectual curiosity, scholarly inquiry, academic excellence, critical thinking, creativity and innovation are most robust and vibrant than ever,” especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, she wrote.

Fierke holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from Carleton College and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Brandeis. Fierke is also a scientist and researcher and has won numerous awards for her work, including the American Chemical Society’s Repligen Award. Along with serving as the provost of the University, Fierke shared that she is currently in the process of creating a research laboratory on campus, with the hopes to continue her studies in investigating the biological function and inhibition of medically important enzymes.