The Provost is the University's chief academic officer, who is responsible for setting the University's academic strategy and priorities, working closely with the deans of the schools, and identifying and cultivating interdisciplinary areas of excellence and collaboration within and between schools. All deans and directors of schools and institutes report to the Provost. The Provost also has direct responsibility for all academic support units. In addition, the Provost has institutional responsibility for the allocation of financial resources in accordance with academic priorities, working closely with University financial officers.

In carrying out her responsibilities, the Provost works with Vice Provosts and senior executives, a group of active scholars, higher education professionals, and experienced administrators, who help ensure that academic priorities are central to every decision made at NYU. Each Vice Provost oversees a portfolio of executive offices. In addition, each Vice Provost also serves as a liaison to designated schools and institutes. The Provost also consults with University leadership and distinguished faculty working on committees that are advisory to the Provost.

Dr. Katherine E. Fleming was appointed Provost of New York University in 2016. She first joined the NYU faculty in 1998. As NYU's Deputy Provost (since 2013) and Vice Chancellor (Europe) (since 2007), Katherine worked closely with the deans, directors, and schools on academic planning and also provided oversight of the Provost’s Global Research Initiatives program, which she created in 2011. A historian, she is the Alexander S. Onassis Professor of Hellenic Culture and Civilization in the Faculty of Arts and Science.