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Emory University’s administrative setup is starting to resemble a game of musical chairs. Dean Howard O. “Woody” Hunter, who resigned Dec. 12 as dean of Emory’s law school, will become interim provost of the university. The current provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, Rebecca S. Chopp, has been named dean of the Yale University Divinity School. Chopp, who was interim provost at Emory for one year before she accepted a permanent position there, will be the first woman dean of Yale Divinity. Emory University President William M. Chace says Emory’s provost is the chief academic officer of the university, including all of its colleges and graduate schools. The dean of each school, Chace says, reports to the provost on academic matters. The provost, in turn, reports to the university’s president. Hunter says the transition from law school dean to university provost is a “fairly natural progression.” Law, he says, “is one of the original faculties of the modern Western university.” The other two, Hunter says, are science and theology. “I have an enormous interest in arts and sciences as well as [in] the whole university,” Hunter says. As for whether he’s considering the provost position on a permanent basis, Hunter says, “That’s a question that I have not answered yet.” He says timing hasn’t allowed him to think about it. “I wasn’t expecting Rebecca to leave,” he says. Hunter filled an interim position as law school dean before accepting the permanent position. But Chace says Hunter, Emory’s most senior dean, will have to agree to serve as permanent provost before he can be considered to move past the interim position. “He could be a candidate if he so wished,” Chace says. Hunter was dean of Emory’s law school for 12 years. “Twelve years is a long time, and I’ve done all that I set out to do,” Hunter told the Daily Report in December. Hunter will remain a tenured member of the law school faculty. The law school named Peter Hay, an Emory Law professor of conflict of laws, European Community law, comparative law, contracts and sales, and jurisprudence, as interim dean.

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