That Nancy Roseman has been the biggest Eph failure as a college president in a generation is beyond dispute.1 But what are the details behind that failure? Was it her cold fish personality? Her social justice warrior crusades? Both? Neither? Enquiring Ephs want to know! A Williams professor forwarded this article (pdf) from the Chronicle of Education.

Nancy A. Roseman’s announcement this week that she would resign as president of Dickinson College bore the standard features of a politely handled parting of the ways. A news release, citing her contributions, sidestepped the fact that the president’s tenure of just three years was considerably shorter than expected and left unmentioned that the decision followed an outside review of her performance.

Perhaps an enemy (or friend?) of Roseman’s at Dickinson could send us the details behind that performance review.

Ms. Roseman recognizes, however, that observers may have concluded that the decision to step down on June 30 was not entirely her own. But the departing president said she saw what the future held at the Pennsylvania college, and it was a six-to-eight-year capital campaign that would effectively cap off her professional life.

What a pathetic fig leaf! Roseman knew, when she took the job, that Dickinson, like every other college, was planning a multi-year capital campaign. That is the primary job of the president!

Professors at Dickinson may be heaping praise on Ms. Roseman by email, but a number of them have been tight-lipped when contacted by The Chronicle. Anthony Pires, chairman of the college’s Faculty Personnel Committee, said on Monday that he did not feel comfortable characterizing the faculty’s feelings about her leadership and he would not offer up his personal assessment, either. Several other professors either did not respond to interview requests or declined to talk. “It is what it is,” one faculty member said, before politely ending a brief phone

Indeed it is.

1Only competitor that comes to mind is a philosophy (?) professor (buddy of Bill Bennett’s ?) who was selected to lead a liberal arts college (in Maine?) several decades ago but was ushered out after just a few years. Or am I imagining that?

UPDATE: Charles Karelis, President of Colgate from 1999 to 2001 was who I was thinking of. The only news summary (that I can find) of his two (!) year tenure is here. Anyone know the details? Reading between the lines, it looks like he jumped because he didn’t really like being a college president instead of being pushed, as was Roseman.

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