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People Watch

Appointments, Promotions and newsmakers

University Business, Oct 2004

IN THE NEWS: Administrators at Clark College (Wash.) thought the school was just getting by on its $37 million operating budget. They urged departments to cap expenses and spoke of their financial plight to potential donors. That's why new President R. Wayne Branch created a tricky PR problem when he drew the foundation's attention to $22 million in reserve funds that had been diverted since 1998. The sums would not be apparent to those who looked over the available budget documents and that much of the money was invested in Washington State Treasury accounts earning 2 percent interest, he explained. One foundation board member, Bruce Paris, told the media, "We all thought we had reserves, but we never knew it was of that magnitude."... St. Mary's College of California has not been so lucky. In late summer officials there were forced to acknowledge that a $100 million gift, pledged from a donor who originally asked to remain anonymous, was not going to materialize. The money was promised in 1997 by Conrad Colbrandt, a college regent, who, in turn, had relied on a pledge group to help with the gift, according to his attorney. In response, St. Mary's officials have delayed some campus projects, but said that the operating budget was not impacted... Thomas Kean, president of Drew University (N.J.) and former governor of New Jersey, will retire from the university next spring. Kean, 70, who led the private university for 15 years, most recently chaired the 9/11 Commission. He says it is a good time to leave Drew, having helped build the endowment from $75 million to more than $200 million.

APPOINTED AND PROMOTED: Susan Hockfield, a neuroscientist and the most recent provost for Yale University (Conn.), will be the first woman president for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She succeeds Charles Vest, who led MIT for 14 years. Hockfield told the press that her priorities coming into the job will be fostering collaboration between MIT's schools and departments and encouraging more discussion about K-12 science and math education. She takes office in December... Manchester College (Ind.) also selected its first woman president, Jo Young Switzer, who takes office July 2005. Switzer, who is the school's vice president and dean, succeeds Parker Marden, who will retire next June... Members of the University of Minnesota's governing board have put their vote of confidence in President Robert Bruininks, deciding in September to give him a raise and extend his contract. His new annual salary, which comes to $348,500, reflects a 2.5 percent raise. His new contract runs through June 2008. Lewis Duncan became president of Rollins College (Fla.) in August. He most recently served as dean of Darthmouth University's Thayer School of Engineering... Larry Kochard will be Georgetown University's chief investment officer. He comes to the Washington, D.C.-based school from the Equity and Hedge Fund Investments for the Virginia Retirement System, where he was managing director... Mim Runey will be president of Johnson & Wales University's Charleston Campus (S.C.). Runey has been employed by J&W Charleston for 15 years, having held a number of positions, including executive director of operations... Florida Atlantic University has picked Deborah Robinson to be associate vice president of advancement. She has been FAU's vice president for institutional advancement... Seyed Amiry, former president and CEO of Core Microsystems, will be dean of the school of Technology at Golden Gate University (Calif.).

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