Princeton names alum as new president

Christopher L. Eisgruber
Christopher L. Eisgruber (BRIAN WILSON)
Posted: April 22, 2013

Princeton University's provost has ascended to be the school's next president, the board of trustees announced Sunday.

Effective July 1, Christopher L. Eisgruber, Princeton's provost for the past nine years, will succeed Shirley M. Tilghman.

Tilghman announced last fall her intention to step down at the end of this academic year after 12 years in office.

Eisgruber, 51, said at a Sunday afternoon announcement that he is honored to lead the university, from which he graduated in 1983 with a degree in physics.

"One of Princeton's most attractive characteristics is its drive not only to sustain past successes but also to build new strengths in response to changing needs and opportunities," Eisgruber said. "I look forward to carrying out the initiatives that are already underway."

Gov. Christie attended the announcement and later said he was happy to see Eisgruber step into the role of president.

"What strikes me is how much he loves this place," Christie said, adding that when university trustee chairwoman Kathryn Hall asked for his advice on the search, he said: "Get someone who loves this place . . . because of the complexities of this university."

After graduating from Princeton, Eisgruber spent two years at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and then received his law degree from the University of Chicago.

He clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Patrick Higginbotham and U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. He taught at New York University Law School for 11 years and joined the Princeton faculty in 2001 as the director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the University Center for Human Values.

He was named Princeton's 11th provost in 2004 and in that capacity has been the University's second-ranking official and its chief academic and budgetary officer.

Contact Claudia Vargas at

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