11/08/2012 05:04 pm ET Updated Nov 09, 2012

Peter Salovey Named Yale President, Replacing Richard Levin

Peter Salovey has been named the 23rd president of Yale University, elevated from his rank as provost, the New York Times reported Thursday.

Current Yale President Richard Levin announced recently he would be stepping down at the end of the academic year after 20 years as the head of the New Haven, Conn., Ivy League university.

Salovey, 54, has a deep connection to Yale, having been a graduate student, professor, dean and department head at the school during his three decades on campus. He's been provost since 2008. Out of a field of 150 candidates, Salovey was considered an inside favorite.

“The trustees were inspired by Peter’s impeccable integrity and character, and by his unwavering commitment to excellence,” Edward P. Bass, senior fellow of the Yale Corporation, the university’s board, said in a statement. “These personal qualities, combined with his significant leadership experience, his stature as a scholar and his deep knowledge of and devotion to Yale make him the best person to lead Yale well into the 21st century.”

Salovey certainly has some big shoes to fill. As president, Levin raised $7 billion for Yale's endowment and made the university free for students from low-income families. The prestigious school also is credited with reviving New Haven and helping reduce crime in the city.

The Times notes Salovey plays bass in a bluegrass band named the Professors of Bluegrass, and is considered to be more of an outgoing character than his predecessor. He's also well-known in the academic world. The Associated Press reports Salovey's 1990 article on emotional intelligence, written with John D. Mayer, has been cited by other scholars more than 4,500 times.

Salovey will take on his new role on June 30, 2013.