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Other highlights
of the Koblik presidency

Since 1992, Reed has:

  • Increased the overall building square footage by 30 percent, adding 275,000 square feet of new and renovated building space for academic programs and in support of student life

  • Tripled the endowment from $116 million in
    1992 to more than $349 million in 2000

  • Increased gifts from non-trustee alumni from $8.9 million in the last campaign to $48.7 million in the recently completed campaign

In addition, since 1992 Reed students and alumni have won many prestigious awards, including a Rhodes scholarship, 10 American Association of University Women awards, 5 Beinecke awards, a Carnegie endowment international peace fellowship, 15 Fulbrights, a MacArthur “genius” award, a Marshall scholarship, 13 Mellon awards, 5 National Academy of Science awards, 31 National Science Foundation awards, and 16 Thomas J. Watson fellowships.

Looking back as a historian on your tenure at Reed, how would you describe the Koblik years?
I am a contemporary historian, and because of that I am aware that one of the greatest difficulties in interpreting contemporary history is that one’s perspective is very likely to be wrong. It’s much easier for historians to interpret a period given some time perspective.

Having said that, I think that the college was able to strengthen itself in terms of competing on a national level to fulfill its mission. It strengthened itself to do that with a massive change in the faculty, both in generational changes and in enrichment of the faculty and the curriculum. We have added 15 new tenure-track positions without changing the size of the student body. In addition, more than 50 percent of the faculty has been hired since I’ve been here. That’s a couple of generations of new faculty members and new faculty leaders, and what they will do in the future will very much affect the way people interpret these years.

Koblik in AudienceWe’ve been able to do other things such as improving research-based learning opportunities for students and scholarly research opportunities for the faculty, particularly in the sciences. Another achievement is moving toward becoming a more residential college, from about 50 percent of students living on campus in 1990 to more students today wanting to live on campus than our 65 percent bed capacity will allow.

The key to all this is that it occurs against a backdrop of a national economic prosperity, so the college has been able to raise new funds that will allow us to achieve some things that have not been possible previously—to dream impossible dreams such as ensuring that any student with talent can come to Reed and not be overburdened with loans. We’re still a long way away from that dream, but I believe we’ve made significant strides in getting there.

“President Koblik’s charm, direct style, and wonderful sense of humor have been appreciated by all those who have come into association with him. His appreciationand support of faculty, staff, and alumni, and the students who make Reed the unique place it is, have never wavered. He leaves Reed a better place than he found it.”

Alumni board resolution

“Steve assumed the presidency with inspiration, dedication, and an apparently endless supply of energy. He has nurtured the college through real challenges and led us to new heights while remaining true to the spirit of this unique institution. Like all of us who love the college, Steve will be a Reedie for life.”

Michele Funk ’94, former student body president and former alumni association president

What effect has your presidency had on the Portland area?
I decided that as an institution we needed to focus on support of K-12. I think Reed has always made contributions to K-12 in Portland, but that effort hasn’t been well coordinated. In the past seven years, the school has started doing that. In addition, I served on the boards of the Boys & Girls Aids Society, Loaves and Fishes, and the Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education.

Koblik Candid

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