Provost to Return to Music Performance
and Administration at Yale

May 1, 2006

TO:       The University Community
FROM:  Robert Blocker, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

During the past year I have had the privilege of serving as your Provost. It has been an exhilarating and informative experience, both personally and professionally. The support and encouragement you have extended, especially that of President Turner, has been extraordinary.

For many years an abiding commitment to music has been a compass for my life. This is not a simple matter of performing at a high level, rather it is the essence of my soul. However, I have found it increasingly more difficult to attain the expectations I have for myself both as your academic leader and as a pianist with international and recording engagements. Clearly, my administrative passion is centered in music and the arts.

To be truthful to myself and to this wonderful institution, I have submitted my resignation as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to President Turner. His leadership, friendship, and character have had a significant impact on my life, and I shall always be grateful for those gifts.

My service at SMU will conclude on May 31, and I will be returning to Yale in my former position as Dean of the School of Music. Serena joins me in expressing our heartfelt gratitude and warmest wishes for your continued success.

May 1, 2006

TO:       University Community
FROM:  R. Gerald Turner, President
RE:       Resignation of Robert Blocker

As detailed in his letter to the University community, Robert Blocker recently informed me of his desire to return to music administration and performance. Contrary to his expectations, he is not ready to end that commitment for the responsibilities of central administration. Had his former position as Dean of Music at Yale University not been available, he informed me that he would not have continued as Provost, but would have returned to music administration and performance, either at SMU or elsewhere.

I truly regret his decision, since Robert and I work very closely and harmoniously together, and he has provided great vision for the academic mission of the University. However, I respect his desire to pursue his true passion and wish him and Serena the very best as they complete the semester here and then return to Connecticut in June.

I will announce in the near future an Interim Provost to serve during the 2006-07 academic year as we conduct a national search for a Provost to lead the academic programs of the University during our Centennial Celebration and Campaign.

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