February 9 the Reed College board of trustees unanimously accepted the
recommendation of the presidential search committee and elected Colin
S. Diver as the fourteenth president of Reed. He and his wife, Joan, will
move to Portland this June from Philadelphia, where he is currently the
Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Professor of Law and Economics and former dean
at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
|"Colin is an astonishingly and delightfully
intellectual man, someone who loves ideas and the arguments and differences
that come with them. He will make a great president at Reed.
Tom Gerety, president, Amherst College
Diver, 58, will assume his new responsibilities
on July 1, succeeding Peter Steinberger, dean of the faculty and Robert
H. and Blanche Day Ellis Professor of Political Science, who was appointed
acting president following the resignation of Reed president Steven Koblik.
Koblik left last year after nine years at Reed to head the Huntington
Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.
Steinberger will return to his position as Reeds dean of the faculty.
The members of the search committee had the privilege of considering many
of the most outstanding leaders in American higher education for the presidency
of Reed, said search committee chair Stephen McCarthy 66,
who also chaired the search that brought Steven Koblik to Reed in 1992.
Colin Divers record of inspired leadership and his ready grasp
of Reed convinced us that he is eminently qualified to be a truly remarkable
next president for the college.
The Reed College faculty unanimously passed a
resolution on February 11 enthusiastically welcoming Colin Diver as president.
The resolution went on to say that the faculty looks forward to
working together with him in a positive and fruitful way to carry forward
the values and mission of the college. It also congratulated members
of the search committee for the successful conclusion of their arduous
Colin Diver is the fourth Amherst College alumnus
to become president of Reed. The others were Dexter Keezer, Duncan
Ballantine, and Paul Bragdon, the longest-serving president in the
history of Reed.
Diver currently serves on the Amherst board of trustees, and Bragdon
is a former member of the Amherst board. In addition, former Reed
president Peter Odegard was previously a member of the Amherst faculty.
Colin Diver is the third lawyer to be president of Reed. The two
others are Victor Rosenblum, who came from and returned to the Northwestern
law faculty after his presidency, and Paul Bragdon, who was educated
at Yale law school.
In a message emailed to the Reed faculty, Diver
wrote, Joan and I appreciate, more
than perhaps you can imagine, the warmth of your welcome and the many
calls and email messages we have received during the past week. With each
passing day we feel more fortunate that this opportunity has come our
way and more eager to embrace this new passage of our lives.
Since my appointment was announced, he wrote, I have
received congratulatory comments from friends and colleagues around the
country. What is so striking about those comments is the admiration, almost
reverence, so many people feel for Reed College. My interlocutors have
variously described Reed as an amazing place, the best
value-added in American education, a school that has stuck
to its principles, the embodiment of liberal educational ideals,
and, simply, a treasure! You, my new colleagues, know all
those things, but its awfully nice to know that your efforts have
not gone unnoticed.
So, as I contemplate the opportunities
and challenges of the presidency, I start with my own version of the Hippocratic
Oath: First, dont screw it up. Second, make it even better.
Third, have fun.
I so look forward to working with Peter
Steinberger, as dean of the faculty and resident expert on what its
really like to be president, and with all of you over the coming years,
to make Reed . . . well, Reed. Only, even more so.
|There is no better person to lead a
fine institution. Colin is absolutely enthralled by Reed and excited
about serving as president.
Michael Fitts, dean, Penn Law School
received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Amherst College (1965), and his
L.L.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School (1968), where he was
an editor of the Law Review. Upon graduating from law school, the Boston-born
Diver declined an offer to join a prestigious private law firm; instead
he entered public service, one of the hallmarks of a career that includes
significant contributions to city and state government (196875)
and to academia (1975 to present).
He served first as special counsel to the office of Boston mayor Kevin
White and then held a series of positions in state government, including
assistant secretary of consumer affairs for Massachusetts and undersecretary
in the states office for administration and finance.
Diver was dean of the Penn law school and Bernard G. Segal Professor of
Law from 1989 to 1999. During that time he increased and strengthened
the Penn law faculty, improved the physical plant and access to technology,
helped raise more than $110 million in new gifts and pledges, worked to
attract some of the most able students in America and around the world,
and added new programs in public service, interdisciplinary teaching and
research, and clinical legal education. Diver went to Penn after 14 years
as a faculty member at Boston University School of Law, where he served
as associate dean (198588) and dean (198889). He was a visiting
professor at Harvards Kennedy School of Government and has held
joint appointments in public policy at the Wharton School and the Boston
University School of Management.
|Colin has served Penn as a respected
dean, an institutional leader, and a valued member of the faculty.
Penns loss is Reeds gain.
Judith Rodin, president, University of
Diver is the author of numerous scholarly publications,
including a co-authored textbook on administrative law used in law schools
throughout the country. He has served as a consultant to numerous organizations,
including the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency. His extensive civic and charitable involvement includes service
as trustee of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, trustee of the Lawyers
Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and a member of St. Pauls
Episcopal Church vestry (Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania).
Colin and Joan Diver have two sons, Brad 35, and Ned 32. Diver enjoys
squash, tennis, yoga, music (especially opera), and cooking (especially
baking). Joan is the director of contemplative and healing ministries
at St. Pauls Episcopal Church. His familys experiences trying
to promote racial justice in Boston during the turbulent years of that
citys school desegregation controversy were chronicled in Common
Ground, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by New York Times journalist J.
More information about Diver can be found at http://
www.reed.edu/president/president_search/index.html. An interview with
the new president will appear in the November issue of Reed.