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University of the People Attracts Academics from Columbia, Yale and New York University

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University of the People Attracts Academics from Columbia, Yale and New York University

--Provost and Chair of Computer Science Department Appointed--

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Pasadena, CA (December 10, 2009)--Bolstering its ambitious academic mission, University of the People (UoPeople) today announced leading educators from Columbia and New York University have joined the organization's scholastic leadership. Former Vice President and Dean of Columbia Dr. David Harris Cohen and New York University Professor Dr. Alexander Tuzhilin have been named Provost and Computer Science Department Chair, respectively.

Following a distinguished career as a neurobiologist and university administrator, Dr. David Harris Cohen will serve as the UoPeople Provost, overseeing academics. From 1995 to 2003, Dr. Cohen was the Vice President and Dean of the Faculty for Arts & Sciences at Columbia University, where he was also professor of Biological Sciences and professor of Neuroscience in Psychiatry. Before joining Columbia, Dr. Cohen was at Northwestern University from 1986 to 1995, initially as the Vice President of Research and Dean of the Graduate School, and then as Provost. He also held professorial appointments in the Departments of Neurobiology and Physiology. Throughout his career, Dr. Cohen has worked with a number of organizations, including Association of American Medical Colleges and Society for Neuroscience, in a variety of capacities. Dr. Cohen received his A.B. magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard in 1960 and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1963.

Dr. Alexander Tuzhilin joins University of the People as the Chair of the Computer Science Department, with over two decades of experience at New York University (NYU). He is currently Professor of Information Systems at the Stern School of Business and has previously held visiting positions at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications in Paris. Dr. Tuzhilin's research has been published in over 90 ACM, IEEE and INFORMS journals and conference proceedings. He has also served on the editorial boards of various journals and on program and organizing committees of numerous conferences, including as a Program Co-Chair of the Third IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM) and as a Conference Co-Chair of the Third ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys). Prior to joining Stern in 1989, Dr. Tuzhilin earned a Ph. D. degree in Computer Science from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, also part of NYU.

Dr. Tuzhilin's NYU colleague, Dr. Russell Winer, currently serves as Chair of the Business Administration Department and a member of the Advisory Committee.

In addition to backing by educators from these storied instructions, UoPeople is also supported by the Information Society Project at Yale Law School (Yale ISP). Bringing more than a decade of leadership in developing the principles of access to knowledge and equitable digital education, Yale ISP is the research partner of UoPeople. Jack Balkin, Yale ISP Director and Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School, serves on the Advisory Committee of UoPeople.

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"The support UoPeople has received in one short year is a confirmation of its mission and potential," said Shai Reshef, founder & president, UoPeople. "The democratization of higher education is an ambitious job but not out of reach, especially when great minds from Columbia, NYU and Yale are brought together. We are thrilled to have Dr. Cohen and Dr. Tuzhilin as leaders at UoPeople."

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