Inquirer Editorial: Dickinson choice takes path too often avoided

Nancy A. Roseman
Nancy A. Roseman
Posted: November 06, 2012

For the first time in its 229-year history, Dickinson College will have a female president at its helm.

Nancy A. Roseman, former dean at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., will take over at the 2,400-student liberal arts college in Carlisle on July 1. She succeeds William G. Durden, who is retiring after 14 years.

Following an eight-month international search, Roseman was selected by the college's board of trustees from among more than 200 candidates to become the school's 28th president.

Roseman, 53, a native of New Brunswick, N.J., joins an elite but small group of female college presidents, which includes Amy Gutmann at the University of Pennsylvania. Former Temple University president Ann Weaver Hart, who left in June to become president of the University of Arizona, will be replaced in January by Indiana University senior vice president Neil D. Theobald.

Roseman's appointment marks the type of milestone that it is hoped will sooner than later become a relic of history - another first for women. But we're not there yet. While women make up 57 percent of college students, they are only 26 percent of college presidents, according to the American Council on Education.

Minorities, too, are underrepresented as college presidents. Excluding the historically black institutions, only 9 percent of the nation's college presidents are minorities, unchanged from 2006. Those numbers are evidence that higher education must do better to recruit, train, and promote qualified women and minorities to their top administrative jobs.

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