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Presidential Search Committee Appointed

The members of the Presidential Search Committee have been announced, and there are a few surprises. Anyone on the Board of Trustees with even a tangential relation to the academy has made it onto the Committee: Denise M. Dupré ‘80 (hotel management), Annette Gordon-Reed ‘81 (law), and John A. Rich ‘80 (medicine) — though none of them has any significant experience teaching undergrads.

Among the undergraduate faculty chosen, Professor of Music Steve Swayne is the only representative from the humanities; one would have expected a more prominent figure perhaps. Curiously, two professors from the sciences were picked: Professor of Environmental Studies Anne Kapuscinski and Biology Professor Mary Lou Guerinot. Rounding out the faculty is Govy Professor William Wohlforth.

An unexpected choice: Emily P. Bakemeier ‘82, Deputy Provost for the Arts and Humanities at Yale, who does not seem to have an ongoing academic relationship with the College right now, other than as an active alumna. She was President of the Alumni Council in 1992. (Hey, she might make a good Provost soon enough.)

At first glance, the range of people chosen seems broad and thoughtful. The addition of Emily Bankmeier is a creative one, and the various Trustees chosen haven’t been on the Board for very long (i.e. they weren’t under the influence of Jim Wright). But I’ll wait to hear from faculty contacts for further thoughts.

One caveat: in committees like this, experience is important, but the courage to put up a fight and avoid a railroaded Presidential choice — which was the case with Jim Kim — is vital.

Presidential Search Commitee.jpg

- and don’t forget Chairman of the Board of Trustees Steve Mandel ‘78 (whose name appears on the Presidential Search Committee bio website, but not in the announcement above).

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