Drew Gilpin Faust: Tops Harvard's short list





A former University of Pennsylvania history professor who specializes in women's studies and is known for her passion for women's rights and racial equality has emerged as a leading candidate for the Harvard University presidency.

Drew Gilpin Faust, 59, who spent 25 years at Penn before moving to Harvard to head its Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2001, was reported to be under serious consideration by Harvard's presidential search committee, both the Harvard Crimson and the Boston Globe reported this week. The papers also reported that another leading candidate, a Nobel laureate in chemistry, had withdrawn.

If Faust is selected, Harvard would join the three other Ivy League schools run by women. She would be Harvard's first female president. In the eight-college Ivy League, Penn, Princeton and Brown also are led by women.

"I think it signals an important tipping point in American higher education," said Penn president Amy Gutmann. "Once you can have half the Ivy League presidents women, it means there should be no limit to what women can accomplish on the basis of true equal opportunity."

News of Faust as a leading candidate ended speculation about Gutmann, who with Princeton president Shirley Tilghman had been mentioned as a possible candidate, although both repeatedly said they were not interested in leaving their institutions.

Faust, a Virginia native and respected authority on the Civil War and the South, has other local ties. She is a 1968 graduate of Bryn Mawr College and has served on its board of trustees since 1997....


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