In announcing Mark Burstein’s appointment as president of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., the college mentioned his unconventional path to the position. That wasn’t a reference to the fact that he is the first Jewish president appointed in the liberal arts college’s 165-year history nor to his time working on a dairy farm in Israel.
It referred rather to the fact that Burstein worked for New York City’s sanitation department and as an investment banker.
As unlikely as those jobs sound as steps to a college presidency, Burstein, who grew up in Cedar Grove, points to them as integral to his professional development. They also fed the fascination with liberal arts education that made him want to take on the leadership of this institution with a student body of 1,500.