Neal F. Lane, an atomic physicist, was unanimously confirmed as director of the National Science Foundation by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee on October 7. President Clinton nominated him to the position in July. Lane will succeed Walter F. Massey, who left NSF to become vice-president and provost of the University of California system.
Lane has served as provost of Rice University since 1986. For 2 years prior to that, he was chancellor of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. From 1979 to 1980, Lane was director of NSF's physics division. He taught physics at Rice University for almost 20 years, beginning in 1966.