Faust selected as president

A little over a week ago Drew Gilpin Faust was selected as President of Harvard University. Ms. Faust currently serves as the dean of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and is a professor of history. Her term will begin on July 1 2007.

Ms. Faust succeeds Larry Summers whose five-year term was marked by a few controversies including tense relations with the faculty at some Harvard colleges. A considerable disturbance arose about a year ago when Mr. Summers made some remarks that seemed to disparage women’s ability to do well in the fields of science and mathematics. Though Mr. Summers expressed regret for the incident, it ultimately contributed to his stepping down from the Presidency.

Drew Faust is the first woman president of Harvard in its 371-year history. I thought it would be interesting to look at the composition of presidencies of Ivy League universities. Eight institutions comprise the Ivy League. The league arose when these institutions entered into an agreement to cooperate on issues related to athletics. The first Ivy Group Agreement was firmed in 1945 in connection with (American) football to address issues of academic standards and financial aid for athletes. Then in 1954 the agreement was extended to cover other sports including the coordination of schedules for matches. This is when the name Ivy League came into use for the association. Of course, now the name Ivy League is synonymous with high academic standards as well.

The eight Ivy League institutions and their presidents (including their areas of academic expertise) are listed below:

Institution President  Academic Background Order/Appointed Appointed
Brown University Ruth J. Simmons Romance Languages & Literatures 18th president

July 3, 2001
July 3, 2001
Columbia University Lee C. Bollinger Law 19th president

June 1, 2002
June 1, 2002
Cornell University David J. Skorton Medicine 12th president

July 1, 2006
July 1, 2006
Dartmouth College James Wright History 16th president

August 1, 1998
August 1, 1998
Harvard University Drew G. Faust History 28th president

July 1, 2007
July 1, 2007
University of Pennsylvania Amy Gutmann Political Science 8th president

July 1, 2004
July 1, 2004
Princeton University Shirley M. Tilghman Molecular Biology 19th president

June 15, 2001
June 15, 2001
Yale University Richard C. Levin Economics
1993
1993

No engineers and only a couple of physical scientists even though all of these institutions have strong engineering and science departments!

Advertisements

One response to “Faust selected as president

  1. 3 out of 8, not bad for America. We South Aisans are so used to seeing women in power that its good to see the US slowly catching up too.

    Seriously, this was an informative piece, was greatly heartened to note that the Brown University President’s field is Romance Languages and Literatures. There is still some hope for the Humanities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s