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Boston College Names New Academic Vice President:
Noted Physician and Scientist,
Former Cornell University Vice-Provost Cutberto Garza

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (7-26-05) - Boston College has named Cutberto Garza, MD, PhD, former vice-provost at Cornell University and noted scientist, to the position of academic vice president and dean of faculties. Garza succeeds John J. Neuhauser, who has held the position since 1999.

Garza brings to Boston College a strong and varied background in multidisciplinary administration, research and teaching at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. During his tenure as vice-provost at Cornell, Garza's portfolio included the Johnson School of Business, the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Engineering and Veterinary Medicine, and the Hotel School, as well as the university's Johnson Museum of Art.

Cutberto Garza, MD, PhD (Photo: Cornell University)
He was also responsible for administrative coordination of the university's Life Sciences Program and Genomics Initiative and for negotiations to establish a university-wide faculty of computational and informational sciences, and was the principal liaison with the medical school campus in New York City.

Most recently, Garza served as director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell, recognized as one of the world's leading training programs in human nutrition. Encompassing four undergraduate majors in three colleges as well as a graduate program, the division includes biological and social and behavioral sciences with faculty disciplines spanning molecular genetics, sociology and economics. During his tenure as director, the division significantly expanded its research portfolio and saw steady increases in federal and other externally funded research support.

A 1969 graduate of Baylor University with a BS in chemistry, Garza received his MD from Baylor College of Medicine in 1973 and a PhD in nutrition and food science from MIT in 1976.

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, praised Garza as a person well suited to lead Boston College's academic program and faculty. "The AVP search committee members did a superb job in identifying and evaluating candidates and it is so evident to me why they recommended Dr. Garza as their first choice," said Father Leahy. "He is a person with impressive academic experience and international involvement who is deeply committed to linking teaching and research, and who wants to contribute both personally and professionally to our Jesuit, Catholic mission. I look forward to his arrival at Boston College."

Said Garza, "I am excited by the opportunity to work with colleagues who share a vision of a yet greater university that is Catholic. Boston College's strong commitment to outstanding scholarship, liberal arts education and international outreach, and the Jesuit and Catholic social justice tradition are particularly appealing to me. I am looking forward to beginning this new role as soon as early November."

In addition to his responsibilities at Cornell, Garza has served since 1998 as director of the Food and Nutrition Program of the United Nations University, a think-tank and community of scholars that serves as a bridge between the UN and the international academic community. In this capacity, he helped assemble a multi-regional network to enhance food and nutrition efforts in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

He also has maintained his research program and chaired a number of domestic and international committees and study groups that addressed key issues in health and nutrition, including a complex multi-country study on infant and young child growth sponsored by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and other organizations. As chair of the project's steering committee, he was one of the two principal architects of a complex undertaking involving hundreds of professionals in six countries to develop new international growth standards that are expected to be adopted by more than 100 countries.

Garza was appointed assistant professor in pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in 1977, rising to the rank of full professor and serving as director of its pediatric nutrition and gastroenterology laboratory and associate director of its USDA Children's Nutrition Research Center before accepting a position as director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell in 1988. He assumed the position of vice-provost at Cornell in 1998, serving until 2000, and returned to the position of the director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences in 2003.

At Boston College, Garza will be responsible for the implementation of the academic components of a strategic assessment and planning initiative that is nearing completion after almost two years of discussion among some 200 administrators, faculty, staff and students.

Vice President William B. Neenan, SJ, who led the search, said the 17-member committee was unanimous in its selection of Garza. "The committee is very pleased that Bert Garza, a distinguished scientist with notable academic and administrative experience, has accepted the position as academic vice president at Boston College," said Father Neenan. "I personally am extremely gratified that Bert and his wife Yolanda are joining the BC community."

Added Moakley Professor of Political Science Kay L. Schlozman, "The word I used to describe Dr. Garza to one of my fellow search committee members after his interview was 'stupendous.' The more we learned about him, the more impressed we all were. He has brains, a distinguished record of academic achievement, administrative savvy and an appreciation of BC's distinct Jesuit and Catholic mission."

Vanderslice Professor of Chemistry and search committee member T. Ross Kelly offered a similar assessment. "Dr. Garza has an exceptionally strong background and the experience to take us to the next level in terms of scholarship and research. I am delighted that he has accepted the offer to come to Boston College."

Garza has received numerous awards and honors, including membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science and the Feinstein World Hunger Prize for Education and Research from Brown University, and has held several domestic and international appointments and consultantships. He was named to the inaugural class of the National Associates of the National Academies of Science and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Nutrition, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society, among other organizations.

Born in Texas, Garza is bilingual and bicultural. He and his wife have three sons.

Founded in 1863 by the Society of Jesus, Boston College is one of the foremost universities in the nation, with a coeducational enrollment of 14,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Boston College draws students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries. The University is among the nation's most selective, with nearly 24,000 applications for approximately 2,250 seats in the freshman Class of 2009. It is also numbered among the top American private research universities and has been honored for its teaching by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education.

 


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