I began my career at Berkeley in 1970, as a faculty member in the English Department. My academic specialty is Victorian literature. In the course of my faculty career, I held a series of administrative positions: chair of my department, Dean of Humanities, Provost and Dean of the College of Letters and Science, and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.
In 2002, I moved to Smith College to become its tenth president; I served in that position for eleven years.
I feel fortunate in having experience in higher education in two very different kinds of institutions: a large public research university and a small residential liberal arts college. I believe they can learn much from each other.
I am very excited about my new role as Director of the Center for Studies in Higher Education. I intend to use its convening power even more than it has been used, focusing each year’s activities and programs on a critical issue in higher education today. The first of these topics (in 2015-16) will be undergraduate education in the research university. I hope that the Center will be a resource for the campus, a think tank where faculty can come together to research, analyze, and discuss the many challenges we face in higher education.