To: Members of the University Community
From: Paul Alivisatos, President
Subject: Katherine Baicker Appointed Provost
Date: January 30, 2023
I am pleased to announce that Katherine (Kate) Baicker will be the next provost of the University of Chicago starting March 20, 2023. Kate has served as the dean of the Harris School of Public Policy since 2017, where she also holds the Emmett Dedmon professorship. She succeeds Provost Ka Yee C. Lee, who will transition into the role of executive vice president for strategic initiatives.
In her time as dean, Kate has made tremendous contributions to the Harris School. Under her leadership the student body has grown three-fold, while becoming more selective. The school has increased the ranks of tenure-track faculty, strengthened key areas such as energy and environmental policy and urban policy, and introduced curricular innovation across multiple degrees. As a leader in diversity and inclusion efforts, Kate launched a process that resulted in the school’s Diversity and Inclusion Roadmap
Kate will bring to the role of provost both her knowledge of the University’s academic enterprise and experience leading innovative change. As provost, she will act as a curator, champion, and defender of academic excellence across the University. She will commit her efforts toward upholding the University’s distinctive culture and values, supporting scholarship and teaching, and collaborating with deans and other university leaders to most effectively engage the opportunities before the University.
As a leading expert in the economic analysis of health policy, Kate’s career has spanned roles across academia and state and national-level government. Prior to coming to UChicago, she was the C. Boyden Gray Professor of Health Economics in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with a dual appointment at the Harvard Kennedy School. Additionally, she has worked on the faculties of the University of California, Los Angeles and Dartmouth College. With experience informing and developing health policy, she has also served as a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
Kate earned her BA in economics from Yale University and her PhD in economics from Harvard University, and her scholarship focuses on public and private health insurance, including examining its distribution and effectiveness. Her widely regarded research on projects like the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, a randomized evaluation of the effects of Medicaid coverage, have been impactful for policymakers across the nation.
As an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she has also lent her expertise to a number of boards and panels including the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Health Advisers; the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; as a Trustee of the Mayo Clinic; and on the Board of Directors of Eli Lilly.
In Spring Quarter, Kate will begin meeting with members of the community across the University and working closely with faculty, deans, and staff as she begins her transition to this new role.
Please join me in thanking Ka Yee for her remarkable service as provost and in welcoming Kate to her new role.