Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has been named the 24th chancellor of the College of William & Mary (Va.), effective February 2012. He led the defense department under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama before retiring this summer. … Having served in the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives, as Texas Railroad Commissioner, and as Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, John Sharp can add chancellor of The Texas A&M University System to his list of public service positions, effective September 6. … Mary Beth Hanner has been named provost and chief academic officer at Excelsior College (N.Y.), and Dean of Assessment Patrick Jones has been promoted to the position of vice provost. … Lee H. Melvin has been associate vice provost for enrollment at Cornell since September 15.