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 rolesat 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.
Kobliks force of personality and uncompromising commitment to Reeds
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.
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.
even more than the increased fiscal solvency and academic and physical
enhancements to the college, Kobliks 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.