Princeton University’s next president is coming from within.
Princeton announced Sunday afternoon that Christopher Eisgruber, the school’s current provost, will serve as its next president.
Eisgruber’s selection ends months of speculation over who would succeed President Shirley Tilghman, who announced in September that she would be stepping down after 12 years of service.
In 2004, Eisgruber began serving as Princeton’s provost after Amy Gutmann left the position to become Penn’s president.
Once Eisgruber begins his term on July 1, Gutmann will become the second-longest tenured Ivy League president, behind only Columbia University President Lee Bollinger.
“I am absolutely delighted for Chris, for Princeton, and for higher education,” Gutmann said in a statement. “Chris is not only a distinguished constitutional law scholar, talented teacher, and proven academic administrator, as a person with the utmost integrity and impeccable judgment, he also has everything else that it takes to lead Princeton with enormous dedication and distinction, as Shirley did.”
Eisgruber’s selection will also break the 4-4 ratio of male-to-female Ivy League presidents that had been in place for the past few years. As of July 1, five Ivy League presidents will be male, while three will be female.
During a press conference on Sunday, Eisgruber outlined some of his priorities for the beginning of his term.
Among other things, he alluded to online education as a focal point as the school moves forward.
In April 2012, massive open online course provider Coursera announced that Princeton — along with Penn — would be one of its first partner institutions. Today, Eisgruber serves on Coursera’s advisory board alongside Penn Provost Vincent Price.
Eisgruber, a Princeton graduate, has previously been a Rhodes Scholar, served as editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review and clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Including Princeton, half of the eight Ivy League schools have named new presidents within the past 13 months. Like Princeton, Yale University announced last year that it had chosen current provost Peter Salovey to serve as its next president.
“This university has shaped my life ever since I stepped foot on this campus 34 years ago as a freshman,” Eisgruber said at Sunday’s press conference, which was attended by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, among others.
“We have in Chris the leader we are going to need for the next decade or so,” Tilghman said Sunday. “I don’t think we could be in better hands.”Comments powered by Disqus
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