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MIT provost returns to alma mater RPI as next president

November 23, 2021 GMT

TROY, N.Y. (AP) — The provost of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who completed his bachelor’s degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is returning to the New York school as its next president.

Martin A. Schmidt has been named RPI’s 19th president by the Rensselaer Board of Trustees, the school said in a statement on Tuesday.

Schmidt will step into the new role on July 1, 2022, replacing the retiring Shirley Ann Jackson. Jackson has led RPI since 1999 and is one of the highest-paid presidents at a U.S. private university.

Arthur F. Golden, chair of the Rensselaer Board of Trustees, said in the statement the school was eager to welcome Schmidt back.

“Marty is a unifying, visionary leader, and a renowned scholar in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I am completely confident that he is the person to continue the remarkable and inspiring path and trajectory that Shirley Ann Jackson has established at RPI,” Golden said.

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Schmidt earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from RPI in 1981 and then a doctorate from MIT, also in electrical engineering.

He became provost of MIT in 2013 and has led multiple efforts related to creating an inclusive and diverse community at the university, RPI said. Schmidt also played a central role in the opening of the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, which was made possible by a $350 million gift. Schwarzman is the CEO of the Blackstone Group investment firm.

“MIT has been a remarkable home for me,” Schmidt said in a statement. “But there is really something special about being given the opportunity to lead your undergraduate alma mater.”