News from last fall:

Today is a great day for Williams and an even better day for The College of Wooster. That’s because the people at Wooster have made the extremely wise decision to ask Sarah Bolton to be their next president—and she has made them very lucky indeed by saying yes. She’ll begin in her new role July 1, 2016.

Entire letter from Falk is below the break. Comments:

1) Is anyone else surprised that Bolton settled for the College of Wooster? Senior Williams administrators who seek college presidencies usually do better than 61 on the US News rankings. Nancy Roseman to Dickinson, Cappy Hill ’76 to Vassar, Steve Lewis ’61 to Carleton and Mike McPherson to Macalester are all examples of Ephs going to colleges with more resources, prestige (and higher presidential pay, probably) than Wooster. Perhaps Bolton has family in the area or some other personal reason for the move? Perhaps the market for college presidencies has gotten more competitive? Perhaps Bolton does not do well in an interview setting? Perhaps she settled too quickly? Informed gossip welcome!

2) Overall opinions on Bolton’s tenure? EphBlog had many fewer problems with her than we had with Nancy Roseman, but that is a low bar. Athletes (especially football players) I have talked to had some negative things to say about Bolton, especially in regard to how she investigated the infamous football skit of a couple of years ago and how she dealt with a couple of sexual assault investigations. Surely it counts in Bolton’s favor that she did not fight to preserve the neighborhood system, although I am not sure if she was the primary mover in bringing back the campus wide lottery. If she was, kudos!

3) Predictions/advice on her successor? The Dean of the College has been a woman over 10 (?) years. (And isn’t it annoying that there is no place to look up the list past Deans and their tenures?) Falk, like all Williams presidents, would like to ensure that at least one of the big three administrative positions (Provost and Deans of College/Faculty) is filled by a woman. But, since the current Dean of the Faculty (Denise Buell) is female, he could go either way for Dean of the College.

4) EphBlog nominates Professor Eiko Siniawer ’97! She is a former chair of CUL, so she has at least some interest in administration. She is an alum, so she has an excellent understanding of student life. And she is an excellent person!

Other nominations?

To the Williams Community,

Today is a great day for Williams and an even better day for The College of Wooster. That’s because the people at Wooster have made the extremely wise decision to ask Sarah Bolton to be their next president—and she has made them very lucky indeed by saying yes. She’ll begin in her new role July 1, 2016.

You can read Wooster’s announcement here.

It’s a great day for Williams, of course, because Sarah’s appointment is an occasion for us to celebrate the extraordinary ways in which she has made Williams a better place since she arrived 20 years ago as an assistant professor of physics.

For the last five years, I’ve had the great privilege of working closely with Sarah as she has served as Dean of the College. I’ve never seen anyone more devoted to students and their academic and personal growth, safety, and well-being. I’ve never worked with anyone with a sharper strategic sense for how to advance this critical work. And I’ve never known anyone more capable of empowering students themselves to sustain and improve their own community. Add to this her contributions to faculty governance that included chairing the Faculty Steering Committee and the physics department and her remarkable work as a teacher of physics and role model for women in science. Sarah leaves a matchless legacy and a multitude of grateful colleagues and students.

As a compassionate leader deeply committed to the development and support of students, Sarah is a wonderful match for Wooster, with its dedication to the liberal arts and its emphasis on research, collaboration, and an inclusive community.

To say we’ll miss Sarah is putting it mildly. Please join me in thanking her for all that she’s done for Williams and in wishing her well in this exciting and important new role.

Regards,
Adam Falk
President

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