Vanderbilt University has named its ninth chancellor.
Daniel Diermeier is the current provost at the University of Chicago and a renowned political scientist and management scholar.
In a call with Nashville reporters Wednesday morning, Diermeier said growth is among his top priorities.
To him that includes opening new areas of research and finding more research grants.
“It’s not about growing the student body,” Diermeier said. “It’s really about growing eminence, growing the reputation of Vanderbilt and then in specific areas that reflect that.”
Diermeier has led growth efforts in the past.
During his tenure at the University of Chicago, he pushed the school of public policy into the top three in the country.
The school of public policy also saw a 50 percent growth in faculty and recruitment of students.
Diermeier said that during the next six months he will engage in conversation with Vanderbilt faculty and students to learn more about what “needs to be done.”
“It’s important to do this always in discussion by having conversations with the faculty and to do it in a deliberate and intentional way,” Diermeier said. “My sense is that overall that this university is in great shape, it’s thriving, it has a strong foundation. So, this is really more about continuing that momentum, perhaps accelerating it.”
Diermeier was selected from a pool of over 100 candidates, said Board of Trust Chairman Bruce Evans.
He said Diermeier was selected because he shares Vanderbilt’s values of research, teaching and service.
In a statement, Evans said that the incoming chancellor also shares “Vanderbilt’s commitment to making an elite education accessible to all qualified students, regardless of their background or ability to pay, a commitment informed by his own experiences as a first-generation college student.”
Diermeier begins his term as chancellor on July 1, 2020. In the meantime, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Wente will continue to serve as interim chancellor.
Wente has filled both roles since Chancellor Emeritus Nicholas Zeppos stepped down as chancellor in August.
“Susan’s outstanding leadership, both in driving our Academic Strategic Plan and in promoting trust, transparency and teamwork across campus, has ensured the university’s momentum has continued unchecked,” Evans said. “I am deeply grateful to her for her service and am looking forward to continuing to work with her in the coming years.”