AAC&U Board Member Biographical Sketches
Thomas Bailey is the George and Abby O'Neill Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is an economist, with specialties in education, labor economics, and econometrics. He is also Director of the Community College Research Center (CCRC), the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE), and the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR). Dr. Bailey has an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and holds a Ph.D. in labor economics from MIT.
Mark Becker is president of Georgia State University, a position to which he was elected in 2009. Trained as a statistician, Dr. Becker has had a distinguished career in biostatistics and public health sciences. For most of his professorial career he was a member of the faculty in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan, where he also held appointments in the Institute for Social Research and the Department of Statistics. He was made a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prior to his appointment as president of Georgia State, Becker was executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of South Carolina and dean of the School of Public Health and assistant vice president of public health preparedness and emergency response at the University of Minnesota. Becker attended Harford (Md.) Community College, earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Towson State University in 1980 and his doctor’s degree in statistics from the Pennsylvania State University in 1985.
Rebecca Chopp became chancellor of the University of Denver in 2014. Prior to her appointment, she served as president of Swarthmore College and previously as president of Colgate University after holding the roles of Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Emory University and Dean at Yale University. Chopp is a widely published author and editor. Her six books include Remaking College: Innovation and the Liberal Arts, which she co-edited with Haverford College President Dan Weiss. Her other notable publications are The Praxis of Suffering: An Interpretation of Liberation and Political Theologies and The Power to Speak: Feminism, Language, God. She has published more than 50 articles. Dr. Chopp is the immediate past chair of the Centennial Conference President's Council. Previously, she served on the governing boards of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the National Survey of Student Engagement. Chopp has also served as a member of the executive committee of the Annapolis Group and the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for Teaching and president of the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Chopp received a BA from Kansas Wesleyan University, an MDiv from St. Paul School of Theology, and a PhD from the University of Chicago.
James P. Collins (Past Chair)
James P. Collins is the Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and Environment at Arizona State University. Dr. Collins began his academic career at Arizona State University in 1975 and has held a number of leadership positions there since, among them Chair of the Zoology and Biology Departments. Additionally, he was founding director of ASU’s Undergraduate Biology Enrichment Program and has served as co-director of ASU’s Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology and Minority Access to Research Careers programs. He also served as Assistant Director for Biological Sciences at the National Science Foundation. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Ecological Society of America, the American Society of Naturalists, and the Association for Women in Science, among others. Dr. Collins received his undergraduate degree from Manhattan College and his doctoral degree from The University of Michigan.
Grant Cornwell became president of Rollins College in 2015. He previously served as president of The College of Wooster. Prior to his appointment at Wooster, he was Dean of Academic Affairs and Vice President at St. Lawrence University, an institution he joined in 1986 as Instructor of Philosophy. He subsequently served as Associate Dean of the First Year and then Chair of the Philosophy Department before becoming St. Lawrence’s chief academic officer. Dr. Cornwell serves on the advisory board for the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education. His scholarship and teaching lie in the areas of human rights, globalization, and critical race theory. He is co-editor of two books: Global Multiculturalism: Comparative Perspectives on Ethnicity, Race, and Nation and Democratic Education in an Age of Difference: Redefining Citizenship in Higher Education. He also has served on the national advisory board of Liberal Education, as well as Liberal Education and Global Citizenship: The Arts of Democracy, a three-year faculty and curriculum development initiative led by AAC&U. Additionally, he has been a fellow of the National Learning Communities Project, a leadership group convened by the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education. Dr. Cornwell holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy and biology from St. Lawrence, as well as a master’s degree and doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago.
William J. Craft
Bill began his service as president of Concordia College in 2011. Prior to his election, he served as the Dean of Luther College and Vice President for Academic Affairs, holding a faculty appointment as Professor of English. His scholarly work on early modern poetry and prose includes a book on Philip Sidney, and his academic leadership has focused on curriculum reform, faculty development and workload, institutional diversity, and institutional planning. He currently serves as Chair of the Wye Seminar Advisory Council. He earned his doctorate in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has been a Fellow of the Newberry Library and the American Council on Education.
Ronald A. Crutcher has been president of the University of Richmond since July 2015. He is president emeritus of Wheaton College, where he served from 2004 to 2014. Dr. Crutcher is founding co-chair of the LEAP National Leadership Council, and he writes and speaks widely on the value of liberal education and the democratic purposes and civic mission of higher education. A former member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and several other symphonies, he currently performs in the U.S. and Europe as a member of The Klemperer Trio. Dr. Crutcher was the first cellist to receive the doctor of musical arts degree from Yale, where he also earned his master’s degree. During his graduate study, he received a Fulbright Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Miami University.
Royce Engstrom (Treasurer)
Royce Engstrom is professor of chemistry at the University of Montana where he previously served in the roles of President and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Engstrom previously held a number of roles at the University of South Dakota, where he served as Professor and Chair of Chemistry, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. As a faculty member, he taught Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and General Chemistry, and conducted an active research program in electrochemistry and analytical chemistry. He is a Past-President of the Council on Undergraduate Research and has been active in the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. He served as Chair of the National EPSCoR Coalition and the National EPSCoR Foundation. Dr. Engstrom received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Gena Glickman became president of Manchester Community College in 2008. Prior to her appointment, she was Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Student Development at Elgin Community College in Illinois. Additionally, she previously served as Associate Provost and Assistant Provost at the University of Baltimore, Dean of the College at Maryland Institute College of Art, Executive Director for Curriculum Development and Evaluation at Hartford Community College, Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Baltimore City College, Assistant Dean at the University of Baltimore School of Law, and as a tenured faculty member at the Essex Community College (now a campus of the Community Colleges of Baltimore County). Her contributions to higher education include service to the College Board’s Community College Advisory Panel and the American Council on Education’s Commission on Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity. She is a book reviewer for the History of Education Quarterly, has taught and developed graduate courses for the University of Maryland College Park, and has served as a curriculum consultant for Northern Illinois University’s extension adult education doctoral program. In April 2012, Hartford Business Journal named Dr. Glickman one of eight remarkable women in business. She has also received the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association, the Faculty Mentor Award from University of Maryland College Park, Outstanding Administrator, Maryland Association of Higher Education, and a service award from the Black Law Student’s Association at the University of Baltimore. Dr. Glickman holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Education; and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park.
James Grossman became Executive Director of the American Historical Association (AHA) in 2010.Previously, he served for thirteen years as Vice President for Research and Education at the Newberry Library and had faculty stints at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Chicago. The author of books and articles on American urban history, African American history, ethnicity, higher education, and the place of history in public culture, Grossman is the recipient of a variety of publication awards culminating in “Chicagoan of the Year” in 2005. At the AHA he has launched a major initiative focused on undergraduate history education and another designed to broaden the career perspectives of history PhD’s. He serves on the boards of the Center for Research Libraries, National Humanities Alliance, National History Center, Vivian G. Harsh Society, and the Coalition of Social Science Associations. Dr. Grossman earned a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and a Ph.D. in History at the University of California, Berkeley.
Richard Guarasci (Vice Chair)
Richard Guarasci became president of Wagner College in 2002, where he previously served as Provost and Senior Vice President. Additionally, he holds the rank of Professor of Political Science and he teaches in the areas of democracy, citizenship and American diversity. Prior to Wagner, he was Dean of the College and Professor of Political Science at Hobart College and Dean and founding Director of the First Year Program at St. Lawrence University. At Wagner, Dr. Guarasci founded The Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts, a four-year curriculum for all undergraduates that draws together a substantive liberal arts core into a series of learning communities and experiential learning tutorials. Dr. Guarasci holds a Bachelor of Science from Fordham University. He received a master's in Economics and a doctorate in Political Science from Indiana University.
Tori Haring-Smith became president of Washington & Jefferson College in 2005. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Haring-Smith was Dean of the College and then Vice President for Educational Affairs at Willamette University. She also served as Executive Director of the Thomas J. Watson Foundation. A nationally recognized advocate for the liberal arts, Dr. Haring-Smith is a mentor and coach for the Institute on Campus Leadership for Sustainable Innovation and was a national panel member for Greater Expectations, AAC&U's national initiative on liberal education in the 21st century. Dr. Haring-Smith's academic background is in theatre and writing. She is a noted director, author, and speaker and has published 10 books and numerous articles on topics ranging from curriculum reform to drama to pedagogy. She has had three play translations widely distributed in the United States and has been recognized by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and LA Weekly. Dr. Haring-Smith holds an undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Marjorie Hass is president of Rhodes College. Previously, she served as president of Austin College for eight years. Prior to her presidencies, she served as provost at Muhlenberg College, where she began her career as a member of the philosophy faculty and also served as director of Muhlenberg’s Center for Ethics. Her scholarship and teaching focus on issues in philosophy of language and philosophy of logic. Dr. Hass earned her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Illinois, Urbana‐Champaign.
Alex Johnson is president of Cuyahoga Community College, a position he has had since 2013. Prior to his appointment, he served as president of the Community College of Allegheny County. Additionally, he served as Chancellor of Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree from Winston-Salem State University, a master’s degree from Lehman College, and a doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University. Additionally, he completed the Executive Leadership Institute of the League for Innovation, the Management Development Program at Harvard University, and was an ACE Fellow.
Tuajuanda Jordan has been president of St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s (SMCM) since 2014. Prior to SMCM, Dr. Jordan served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and as a professor of chemistry at Lewis & Clark College in Oregon. Dr. Jordan gained national prominence in the realm of science education with the creation of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science Education Alliance program and the launch of its first initiative, the SEA Phage program, which engaged novice undergraduates in research in genomics and bioinformatics. Dr. Jordan holds a B.S. in chemistry from Fisk University and a PhD in biochemistry from Purdue University.
Martha Kanter is Executive Director of the College Promise Campaign. Previously, she was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University after serving as Under Secretary of Education in the Obama Administration from 2009 until December 2013. In that role, she oversaw policies, programs, and activities related to postsecondary education, adult and career-technical education, and federal student aid. She also supervised six White House Initiatives on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; Educational Excellence for Hispanics; Historically Black Colleges and Universities; American Indian and Alaska Native Education; Educational Excellence for African Americans and Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Prior to her tenure at the U.S. Department of Education, she served as chancellor of the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District and as president of De Anza College. She received her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, an M.Ed. from Harvard University, and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco.
Carol A. Leary
Carol A. Leary has been president of Bay Path University since 1994. She previously served as vice president for administration and assistant to the president at Simmons College and held administrative positions at Siena College, Boston University, and the Washington Campus Organization. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Boston University, she earned her master of science degree at the State University of New York at Albany and her doctorate of philosophy degree at American University.
Laurie Leshin has been president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) since 2014. Previously, she served as Dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While there, Dr. Leshin continued her work as a scientist for the Mars Curiosity Rover mission and was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Board for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Prior to joining Rensselaer, she served as the deputy director of NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, where she was responsible for oversight of NASA’s future human spaceflight programs and activities. She is a recipient of NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal, and the Meteoritical Society’s Nier Prize. Dr. Leshin received her B.S. in chemistry from Arizona State University and a Ph.D. in geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology.
Elsa Núñez (Chair)
Elsa Núñez became President of Eastern Connecticut State University in 2006. Prior to her appointment, she served as Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs in the University of Maine System, after serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lesley University, University Dean for Academic Affairs and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the City University of New York, and Associate Dean of Faculty at the College of Staten Island of The City University of New York. Dr. Nuñez received her undergraduate degree from Montclair State College, her master’s from Farleigh Dickinson University, and her doctoral degree in linguistics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Mary Papazian has been president of San Jose State University since 2016. Most recently, she served as president of Southern Connecticut State University. Prior to her tenure there, Dr. Papazian was the provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Lehman College of The City University of New York (CUNY), dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Montclair State University in New Jersey, and associate dean of the College of Arts and Science at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Dr. Papazian holds a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Raymund Paredes is Commissioner of Higher Education at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Prior to his appointment, he was director of creativity and culture at the Rockefeller Foundation, then vice president for programs at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. He spent most of his academic career at UCLA where for 30 years he taught as an English professor and served for ten years as vice chancellor for Academic Development. In addition, he served as special assistant to the president of the University of California System in outreach efforts to improve access to higher education for students from educationally disadvantaged communities. Dr. Paredes is a member of the national board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and was appointed to the Education Commission of the States by Texas Governor Rick Perry. He served as a trustee of The College Board and Mercy College of New York and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Cultural Trust. In 2007, he was named one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics. He received a B.A. in English from The University of Texas at Austin. He then served in the U.S. Army for two years, including a 14-month tour with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam. After separation from military service, he resumed his education, earning a master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Southern California and a doctoral degree in American Civilization from The University of Texas at Austin.
Lynn Pasquerella assumed the presidency of the Association of American Colleges and Universities on July 1, 2016. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to access to excellence in liberal education regardless of socioeconomic background. A philosopher, whose career has combined teaching and scholarship with local and global engagement, Pasquerella’s presidency of Mount Holyoke College was marked by a robust strategic planning process, outreach to local, regional, and international constituencies, and a commitment to a vibrant campus community. A graduate of Quinebaug Valley Community College, Mount Holyoke College, and Brown University, Pasquerella joined the Department of Philosophy at the University of Rhode Island in 1985, rising rapidly through the ranks to the positions of Vice Provost for Research, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and Dean of the Graduate School. In 2008, she was named Provost at the University of Hartford. In 2010, her alma mater appointed her the eighteenth President of Mount Holyoke College. Pasquerella has written extensively on medical ethics, metaphysics, public policy, and the philosophy of law. At the core of her career is a strong commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence, manifested in service as senator and vice president of Phi Beta Kappa; her role as host of Northeast Public Radio’s The Academic Minute; and her public advocacy for access and affordability in higher education.
Robert L. Pura
Robert L. Pura is president of Greenfield Community College. He has chaired the Massachusetts President’s Council and served on its Executive Committee. He was a member of the Working Group on Assessment of Student Learning for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and currently serves on the Commission on Academic Student and Community Development for the American Association of Community Colleges. Dr. Pura earned his A.A. at Miami Dade Community College, his B.A. at the University of South Florida, his M.S. from St. Thomas University, and his Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas in Austin.
Lenore Rodicio is Executive Vice President and Provost at Miami Dade College, where she previously served in the capacities of Provost for Academic and Student Affairs and Vice Provost for Student Achievement. Dr. Rodicio joined Miami Dade in the fall of 2002 as an adjunct instructor of chemistry at the Kendall and InterAmerican campuses. Since that time, she has held a number of positions at the college including associate professor, Chair of Natural and Social Sciences, and dean of Academic Affairs. Dr. Rodicio holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Barry University and Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Louisiana State University.
Judith R. Shapiro
Judith R. Shapiro became president of the Teagle Foundation in 2013. She also is President and Professor of Anthropology Emerita of Barnard College and Professor of Anthropology Emerita at Bryn Mawr College. She began her teaching career at the University of Chicago in 1970, the first woman appointed to the Department of Anthropology, and moved to Bryn Mawr College in 1975. She later served as chair of the department, Dean of the Undergraduate College, and Provost. In December 2002, she received the National Institute of Social Sciences’ Gold Medal Award for her contributions as a leader in higher education for women. She was elected in 2003 to membership in the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States, and is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has an undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and received her Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University.
Elizabeth H. Simmons
Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons is Executive Vice Chancellor - Academic Affairs at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to her appointment, she served as University Distinguished Professor of Physics and Dean of Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University. Previously, she taught at Boston University where she won the university’s Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award. She is a particle theorist whose research focuses on the origins of the masses of the elementary subatomic particles - particularly the W and Z bosons that transmit the weak nuclear force and the heaviest known particle, the top quark. She investigates theories in which these masses arise from new strong dynamics at energy scales accessible to experiments like those now underway at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. She is the recipient of an Outstanding Junior Investigator Award from the US Department of Energy and a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Additionally, she was named a Fellow of the AAAS, a Fellow of the American Physical Society an APS Outstanding, and was designated an APS CSWP Woman Physicist of the Month. Dr. Simmons holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard College, an M.Phil. in physics from Cambridge University where she served as a Churchill Scholar, and a doctoral degree from Harvard University.
Dr. Kumble R. Subbaswamy was appointed Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2012. Before his appointment, he served as Provost at the University of Kentucky where he had been Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences. Previously, he was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1989. His primary research area as a physicist is the optical properties of novel materials and nonlinear excitations. He has published over sixty articles and co-authored a book on the local density theory of polarizability. Dr. Subbaswamy holds an undergraduate degree in physics from Bangalore University, an M.S. in physics from Delhi University, and a Ph.D. in physics from Indiana University.
Dr. Candace Thille is an Assistant Professor of Education at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and Senior Research Fellow for the Office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning at Stanford University. She is also the founding director of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research focuses on applying results from the learning sciences to the design, implementation, and evaluation of open web-based learning environments, and in using those environments to engage in research to refine theories of human learning. In this capacity, she serves as a redesign scholar for the National Center for Academic Transformation; a fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education; on the Assessment 2020 Task Force of the American Board of Internal Medicine; on the technical advisory committee for the Association of American Universities STEM initiative; and on the Global Executive Advisory board for Hewlett Packard’s Catalyst Initiative. Dr. Thille holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree in information technology from Carnegie Mellon University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania.
David Wilson became president of Morgan State University in 2010. Prior to his appointment, he was Chancellor of both the University of Wisconsin Colleges and the University of Wisconsin–Extension. Before that, he held numerous administrative posts in academia, including Associate Provost and Vice President for University Outreach at Auburn University and Associate Provost at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Dr. Wilson has authored two books and more than 20 articles published in scholarly journals. In 1998, he was named one of the nation’s top 100 leaders in higher education by the American Association of Higher Education. Additionally, in 2011, he was selected as one of The Daily Record newspaper’s Influential Marylanders and was honored by the University of Alabama with an award for outstanding leadership in engaged scholarship. Dr. Wilson is a member of the Maryland Humanities Council — appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley — and the P-20 Leadership Council of Maryland. In February 2010, President Barack Obama appointed him to his 11-member Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Wilson received a B.S. in political science and an M.S. in education from Tuskegee University and earned an Ed.M. in educational planning and administration and an Ed.D. in administration, planning, and social policy, both from Harvard University.
Leslie E. Wong
Leslie E. Wong became president of San Francisco State University in 2012. Prior to his appointment, he was president at Northern Michigan University after serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Valley City State University in North Dakota. Earlier in his career, he held faculty appointments at Pierce College and Evergreen State College and served six years as Academic Dean at the latter before serving as Provost and Academic Vice President at the University of Southern Colorado. Additionally, he held the position of Interim President at the University of Southern Colorado where he was instrumental in augmenting institutional funding from both private and public sources. Dr. Wong maintains research interests in educational technology, academic assessment, and the role of underrepresented minorities in the academy. He serves on numerous boards and community organizations including the AASCU New Presidents Academy, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, the Bay Area Council, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Wong holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Gonzaga University, a master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from Eastern Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Washington State University.
Thomas Meyer (Ex Officio/ACAD Chair)
Thomas Meyer is Chair of the American Conference of Academic Deans’ (ACAD) Board of Directors. He serves as Vice President for Academic Services and Student Development at Lehigh Carbon Community College in 2015. Previously, he was Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at Broward College's downtown center in Fort Lauderdale and Dean of Academic Affairs at Miami Dade College. Dr. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in educational linguistics, his M.S. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and his B.A. in English literature, all from the University of Pennsylvania.