Eisgruber tackles transition to new role as provost

Sept. 24, 2004 10:31 a.m.

Twenty-five years after he arrived at Cuyler Hall to begin his freshman year at Princeton, Christopher Eisgruber is in the midst of another major transition.

Eisgruber spent this summer settling into an office in Nassau Hall and his new role as University provost. Between his appointment in February and his first day in the new position in July, he tackled a hectic schedule of fulfilling his teaching and research duties while learning the responsibilities of serving as Princeton's second-ranking official.

"Although I'm as busy now as I was during the spring semester, it's a little less dizzying to be here in the office than to be switching hats all the time," said Eisgruber, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values. "I spent a lot of time walking between Robertson Hall and Nassau Hall during the spring semester, and at least now I usually know where I'm supposed to be in the middle of the day."

While adjusting to his new surroundings, he also realized how far he had come since his first days at Princeton -- his class of 1983 is now the "parent class" for this year's freshman class of 2008. For Eisgruber, the experience of being both a Princeton alumnus and faculty member provides insight into how the University's educational mission relates to today's students, a perspective that will undergird his work as provost.

"The perennial issues of trying to communicate complicated ideas to very smart students and alerting them to questions that they aren't even asking and haven't even thought about -- those remain the same over time," he said. "In some fields more than others, changes in technology and advances in understanding have put new questions on the table. But I feel a lot of similarities as well at Princeton to what I saw when I was here 25 years ago."

Read the full story in the Weekly Bulletin .

Contact: Eric Quinones (609) 258-3601