Many Changes Of the Guard for Higher Education

THE doors to college presidents' offices continue to revolve.

After a spate of high-profile university presidents announced their resignations last year, panic began to break out in much of the academic community. Some argued that the pressures were becoming too great and qualified candidates were losing interest in running troubled institutions.

A few universities did have to endure protracted searches for new leaders, and the competition for candidates may have been tougher than usual. But nearly all the major universities looking to hire a new chief executive officer for the next academic year have done so.

Here is a roundup of shifting faces in academic leadership across the country. Most of these new presidents will be starting their jobs this summer.

Richard Levin, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. Yale spent nearly a year searching for a new president after Benno Schmidt resigned abruptly last May to head the Edison Project, an entrepreneurial venture creating a nationwide chain of private schools. Mr. Levin, who will become Yale's 22nd president on July 1, is currently dean of the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He has spent more than two decades studying and working at the school.

Nannerl Keohane, Duke University, Durham, N.C. A political-science scholar, Ms. Keohane will be the university's first female president and one of few women to lead an American research university. She is stepping down as president of Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass., where she has been for the past 11 years.

Hugo Sonnenschein, the University of Chicago. Mr. Sonnenschein is an economist and provost of Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. He will replace Hanna Gray, who is retiring after 15 years as president of the university.

George Rupp, Columbia University, New York. Mr. Rupp leaves the presidency of Rice University in Houston to replace Michael Sovern, who has served as Columbia's president for 13 years.

Harry Payne, Williams College, Williamstown, Mass. A historian, Mr. Payne is currently president of Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. He will take over at Williams when Francis Oakley retires in December.

Jean Dowdall, Simmons College, Boston. The first female president this 94-year-old women's college has ever had, Ms. Dowdall is currently a vice president at Beaver College in Glenside, Pa.

Several university presidents are being lured away from academia by the new political administration in Washington.

President Clinton appointed Joseph Duffey, president of American University in Washington, as director of the United States Information Agency. Mr. Duffey will leave American University in June.

Sheldon Hackney, president of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, has been nominated as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Claire Fagin, the former dean of Penn's School of Nursing, is serving as interim president of the university.

Meanwhile, Donald Langenberg, chancellor of the University of Maryland system, is rumored to be on the short list for nomination as director of the National Science Foundation.

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