Haverford College selects new president

Daniel H. Weiss will be president.
Daniel H. Weiss will be president.
Posted: May 03, 2012

Haverford College will wait more than a year to get its first choice for a new leader, Lafayette College president Daniel H. Weiss.

The prestigious Main Line liberal arts college on Tuesday announced that Weiss, an art history scholar who has led Lafayette since 2005, would become Haverford’s 14th president in July 2013.

Weiss, 54, asked for the time to finish his eighth year with Lafayette and oversee projects he had started, including the design and building of a new center for global education and a new arts campus.

“Dan Weiss was so much our consensus candidate.?... We felt he was the right person for the long-term interest of the college,” said Jonathan Evans, co-chair of the search committee. “We thought it was in both Lafayette’s interest and our interest to have a transition with integrity.”

The decision means that Haverford will have an interim president, Joanne V. Creighton — formerly the president of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts — for two years.

Creighton was appointed upon the departure of president Stephen G. Emerson, who announced in July he would return to teaching and research at Haverford. Emerson later left to become director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

Weiss was approved by Haverford’s board of managers on Saturday after a national search that began last fall. The school received 340 nominations or prospects for the job, 90 of whom applied or were willing to talk with the 1,200-student school, Evans said.

“I can think of no better ambassador for the liberal arts than Dan,” Catherine P. Koshland, chair of the board of managers, said in a statement.

Weiss said in an interview that Haverford “really resonates with my values and intellectual interests.”

Weiss, whose academic speciality is the art of Europe in the age of the Crusades, has increased the size of the faculty at Lafayette 10 percent and developed interdisciplinary study programs, in addition to the renovation projects. He also led a strategic planning process at Lafayette, a 2,400-student school in Easton, Pa.

Before 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 an art history professor.

He received a master’s and a doctorate in art history from Hopkins, an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management, and a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University.

Weiss is married to Sandra Jarva Weiss, a graduate of George Washington and its law school, according to Lafayette’s website. She is a lawyer. The couple have two sons, ages 12 and 15. The family will relocate to the president’s house on campus.

In a 2007 issue of Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Weiss said he would be a classical archaeologist or relief pitcher if he were not a college president.

“I’m very interested in ancient cultures, and the prospect of visiting sites and discovering things,” he said.

As for a relief pitcher?

“You have to come in and save the day,” he said. “I love that kind of pressure.”

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

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