For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-884-0812 (office)

Association of American Colleges and Universities Announces Seven New Directors and New Slate of Officers for Board of Directors

Dr. Helen Giles-Gee, President of Keene State College, Assumes Position as Chair of the Board, taking over from Dr. David Oxtoby, President of Pomona College

Mar 2, 2011

Washington, DC—At its recent annual meeting in San Francisco, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) named seven new directors and elected a slate of new officers. Dr. Helen Giles-Gee, president of Keene State College, assumed the position of chair of the board, taking over from Dr. David Oxtoby, president of Pomona College. Oxtoby will continue to serve on AAC&U’s Board Executive Committee as Past Chair. Dr. Helen Giles-Gee became the ninth president of Keene State College on July 1, 2005. She also holds an appointment as professor in education and management. Previously, Dr. Giles-Gee served as provost at Rowan University. She is currently the vice chair of the board of Campus Compact and of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and past chair of the New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission.

“I have seen firsthand the power of liberal education in bringing about positive changes in the lives of students,” said Keene State President and AAC&U Board Chair Helen Giles-Gee. “It has been my honor to serve on the Board of AAC&U with esteemed colleagues from across the country who believe in and support inclusive excellence, and enhancing integrative learning and civic engagement. And, so it with sincere humility and great anticipation that I assume the role of chair.”

In addition to the appointment of Dr. Helen Giles-Gee, AAC&U appointed Bobby Fong, president of Butler University, as vice chair of the board. Bobby Fong assumed the presidency of Butler University in June 2001 and will assume the presidency of Ursinus College in summer 2011.  AAC&U appointed Robert Sternberg, provost and senior vice president of Oklahoma State University, as treasurer of the board.

New Directors appointed to AAC&U’s board include seven educational leaders from a wide array of institutions. They include:

Carol Christ, president, Smith College
James P. Collins, Virginia M. Ullman professor of natural history and environment, Arizona State University
Dianne Harrison, president, California State University, Monterey Bay
Alex Johnson, president, Community College of Allegheny County
Edward Ray, president, Oregon State University
Sidney A. Ribeau, president, Howard University
Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas professor of government and sociology, Harvard University

Carol Christ became president of Smith College in 2002. Prior to her appointment at Smith, Dr. Christ was executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Berkeley where she previously had served as vice chancellor and dean of the College of Letters and Science. In 2004 she was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

James P. Collins is the Virginia M. Ullman professor of natural history and environment at Arizona State University. Dr. Collins began his academic career as an assistant professor 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. From 2005 to 2009, he served as assistant director for biological sciences at the National Science Foundation. He is a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science and the Association of Women in Science.

Dianne Harrison became president of California State University, Monterey Bay in 2006. Prior to her appointment at CSU Monterey Bay, Dr. Harrison enjoyed a thirty-year career at Florida State University in Tallahassee. She served as a dean of social work, associate vice president for academic affairs, dean of graduate studies, and vice president for academic quality and external programs.

Alex Johnson became the president of the Community College of Allegheny County in 2008. Prior to this appointment, he served as chancellor of Delgado Community College in New Orleans. Nationally, he serves on the boards of National Campus Compact and the National Advisory Board for the Community College Survey of Student Engagement. He also has been elected to the board of the American Association for Community Colleges.

Edward Ray became president of Oregon State University in 2003. Prior to this appointment, he served as executive vice president and provost at Ohio State University, where he was a member of the economics faculty for more than 30 years. Dr. Ray’s research interests include the history of protectionism in the US, the role of financial reform in economic development, and foreign direct investment in the US and abroad.

Sidney A Ribeau became president of Howard University in 2008. Prior to his appointment, he served as President of Bowling Green State University for thirteen years after holding the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Nationally, Dr. Ribeau serves on the boards of the Teachers Insurance Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), Worthington Industries, and the Committee of Underrepresented Groups and the Expansion of the Science and Engineering Workforce Pipeline.

Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Thomas professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University. At Harvard, she has served as the dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and as Director of the Center for American Political Studies. Skocpol has served as president of the Social Science History Association and president of the American Political Science Association. Her research covers an unusually broad spectrum of topics including both comparative politics and American politics.

The following individuals serve on AAC&U’s board of directors and were reappointed for a second two-year term: Ramón Gutiérrez, University of Chicago; Leo Lambert, Elon University; David Maxwell, Drake University; and Gail Mellow, La Gaurdia Community College.

“AAC&U’s membership is very fortunate to be led by such a strong and committed board of directors,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “The board’s leadership has contributed greatly to the growth of AAC&U’s membership and the strength of its programs and publications. Following President Oxtoby’s effective leadership this past year, I am very confident that, along with his fellow board members, President Giles-Gee will continue to bring energy, insight and visibility to AAC&U’s continuing commitment to extending the benefits of liberal education to every college student.”