Doctor of Humane Letters
As if your passion, intelligence and high spirits were not credentials enough
for the presidency of a small liberal arts college located in a remote corner
of the Berkshires, you also bring to your Williams College job the skills of a
fine teacher, scholar and researcher.
Since becoming Williams's 16th president a year ago, you have been a strong presence
on campus, active in the residential housing system, teaching Economics 101 to
a class of 150, garnering high ratings from your students. During your first year,
you have already demonstrated your decisiveness and powers of persuasion in town-gown
relations, helping to settle a difficult controversy over the location of a new
performing arts center.
You have won your stripes both as professor and administrator, earlier at Williams,
then for nine years at the University of Southern California, as chairman of the
economics department, dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and, finally,
as the university's vice president for planning.
A prolific writer, you are one of the nation's top authorities on the economics
of higher education, with a particular concern for social justice in college financing.
Appearing often in the public press as well as in academic journals, you have
thoughtfully explored the question of how colleges should contend with the new
set of social protestsabout sweatshop labor, for examplewhen these
protests are fueled by what you call "the communications free-for-all brought
about by the Internet."
You have been described as a devoted family man, as an idealist lurking under
an irreverent, brash exterior, as a self-assured man with a self-deprecating sense
of humor. And we at Amherst like a Williams man who can self-deprecate.
We are pleased to welcome you to the cohort of small-college presidents and to
honor you today.
<< Back | Next