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Academic Leadership

The search for and first years in office of a new president at a public university can carry extra burdens, say experts on those institutions. For starters, says presidential search consultant John Thornburgh, the vetting of candidates becomes a more complicated proposition because of the transparency usually practiced by state schools.

The Universities of Oregon, Illinois, and Virginia have plenty in common. They all rate as leading research institutions, boast a high-achieving graduate and undergraduate student body, and field formidable athletic teams that compete regularly for national championships.

A classic liberal arts education, long viewed as a firm foundation for a successful professional life, has taken a backseat in recent years to more career-specific training. To remain competitive, many colleges and universities have added pre-professional programs and, in some cases, slashed liberal arts requirements. However, some colleges remain committed to a traditional liberal arts curriculum and continue to find success.

Starting this fall, full-time students enrolled in Wake Forest University’s (N.C.) Master of Arts in Management (M.A.) Program won’t be able to roll out of bed and rush to class. Instead they will be required to be in school from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the weekday to learn real-world responsibility and accountability.

James M. Anderson

John M. Anderson, president of Alfred State College (N.Y.), has been selected to serve as the next president of Millersville University (Pa.), to begin April 1. He will succeed Francine G. McNairy, who retired in January after serving as Millersville’s president for nearly 10 years.

Since 2008, David G. Horner has been president and S. Sue Horner has been Scholar in Residence, Gender Studies and Religion, at The American College of Greece (Athens). They are in their 28th year as a presidential couple.

In the movie “Idiocracy,” the world has degenerated to garbage-filled state where people don’t know basic farming. Could this fate be avoided by maintaining support for the liberal arts?

Kathleen McCartney, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and a member of the founding board of edX, has been selected as the 11th president of Smith College (Mass.), effective July 1. During her time at Harvard, the HGSE raised $162 million, including two $10 million gifts supporting programs to develop partnerships between the schools of business and government and the education school. McCartney succeeds Carol T.

As university presidents gathered at this fall’s conferences and seminars, the usual question of “How was your summer?” likely produced more than perfunctory, polite responses. It was a wild season for a number of higher education leaders. In June, the president of the University of Virginia was “temporarily” fired by her board for not being aggressive enough in pushing new initiatives.

In the wake of last week’s shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., more than 160 college and university presidents are calling for stricter gun laws.

The college presidents signed an open letter to U.S. policy makers that was drafted by the leaders of two Georgia schools, Lawrence M. Schall, president of Oglethorpe University, and Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott College.

The letter calls for: