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Koblik Article A t the end of this month, president Steven Koblik will leave Reed to become president of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, in San Marino, California.

When Koblik came to Reed in 1992 he faced the harsh realities of a budgetary shortfall and a campus community marked by faculty dissatisfaction, disintegrating channels of communication, and low staff morale. He immediately met one-on-one with every member of the Reed faculty, opened up lines of communication across all constituent groups, and reaffirmed the valuable contributions of the college staff.

He willingly shared information, and he made himself visible and accessible to all members of the community including students, with whom he logged innumerable hours in a variety of settings and roles—at the beach, over pizza, in thesis tutorials, and at Blazers games. His ability to address issues head-on in an open, candid, and inclusive way, coupled with a tolerance for ambiguity and differing points of view, moved this community forward in a strong and positive direction.

Koblik’s force of personality and uncompromising commitment to Reed’s maintaining the highest intellectual standards in American undergraduate education restored a shared sense of purpose and mission that will remain one of the most important and enduring hallmarks of his presidency.

Koblik with StudentsOther hallmarks include the success of the $100 million Campaign for Reed College, significant enhancements to the physical plant in support of student life and the academic program, a presidential initiative to stabilize the student-faculty ratio at ten to one, and his influential participation in the national dialogue about the future of American higher education.

Newsweek CoverBut even more than the increased fiscal solvency and academic and physical enhancements to the college, Koblik’s presidency will be remembered for his tireless and passionate support of Reed, his keen sense of fair play, his seriousness of purpose, and his irrepressible sense of fun. He leaves the college stronger, healthier, more civil, and better poised for the future.

In this recent interview, Koblik speaks of some of his early surprises at Reed, subsequent challenges, and hopes for the future.

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