“I have been shaped by and will carry with me the distinctive values of the University of Chicago, from its commitment to unflinching inquiry to its generosity of spirit,” Rosenbaum wrote in a letter to faculty announcing his departure.
Rosenbaum has been a professor of physics for 30 years at the university and was appointed provost in 2007.
He worked closely with President Robert Zimmer as the university grappled with a dramatic decline in its endowment and layoffs and cost-cutting measures when the stock market crashed in 2007.
“During times that have been challenging for higher education as a whole, he has helped to strengthen the University of Chicago and position it for even greater eminence. In addition to helping guide the University through the financial crisis in a manner that preserved our highest priorities and values, he oversaw an historic expansion of the faculty during the same period,” Zimmer wrote in a letter to faculty.
Rosenbaum oversaw the largest increase in faculty in decades and the development of the Institute for Molecular Engineering, the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society and the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.
He was also the subject of criticism by graduate students, who frequently complained during his tenure that financial and academic support was well below peer institutions.
Rosenbaum’s departure marks the second of Zimmer’s closest allies in the administration to leave this year for other universities. Executive Vice President David Greene will leave for Waterville, Maine, in July to become Colby College’s next president.
Rosenbaum’s appointment at CalTech begins July 1.