New president named at Haverford College

Posted: May 02, 2012

The president of Lafayette College in Easton will become Haverford College's 14th president, but he won't start the job for over a year, Haverford officials announced Tuesday.

Dan Weiss, who has been president of Lafayette since 2005, was approved by Haverford's Board of Managers on Saturday, following a national search that began last fall.

He starts at the 1,200-student liberal arts college in July 2013, which allows him to complete his eighth year of presidency at Lafayette, Haverford said.

An art history scholar and outspoken leader for liberal arts, Weiss replaces Stephen G. Emerson who announced his resignation last July to return to teaching and research at Haverford.

Emerson, however, later left to become the director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

Interim President Joanne V. Creighton, who was appointed last year upon Emerson's departure, will continue to lead the school until Weiss' arrival.

"I can think of no better ambassador for the liberal arts than Dan," Catherine P. Koshland, chair of Haverford's Board of Managers, said in a prepared statement. "At a time when higher education's value as a public good rather than a private benefit is being challenged, Dan can make the case for the public good. He can express the value of a liberal arts education and why Haverford provides that at the very highest level."

Weiss welcomed the opportunity to move to Haverford.

"There are many great colleges and universities in the U.S., but there is no place as distinctive as Haverford," the 54-year-old Weiss said in a prepared statement. "Haverford has such a powerful culture and an approach to educating students in partnership with them that I think is unparalleled in American higher education. I am excited to have the opportunity to join a community like this."

Weiss, whose academic speciality is the art of medieval Europe in the age of the Crusades, has increased the size of the faculty at Lafayette by 10 percent, developed interdisciplinary study programs and started a renovation project, according to Haverford. He also led a strategic planning process at the 2,400 student college in the Lehigh Valley.

In April, he hosted a three-day conference at Lafayette called "The Future of the Liberal Arts College in America and Its Leadership Role in Education Around the World."

Before heading to Lafayette, Weiss was the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. He previously served as dean of the faculty at Hopkins where he started his career as a professor of art history.

Both his master's and doctorate in art history are from Johns Hopkins. He has an MBA from the Yale School of Management. And he received his bachelor's degree from George Washington University in 1979.

Weiss is married to Sandra Jarva Weiss, also a graduate of George Washington University and its law school, according to Lafayette's website. She is a partner in the firm of Tallman, Hudders & Sorrentino. The couple has two sons.


Contact Susan Snyder at 215-854-4693 or ssnyder@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ssnyderinq

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