Saturday, 21 October 2017

Barnard Chooses a Leader Whose Research Focuses on Women – New York Times


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Sian Beilock in her office at the University of Chicago in 2015.

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Jason Smith/University of Chicago

Barnard College announced on Monday that it had hired Sian Beilock to be its next president, the eighth person to hold the position.

Ms. Beilock comes from the University of Chicago, where she is executive vice provost overseeing a range of functions and projects, including the University of Chicago Press, the school’s engagement with its surrounding community and several significant building projects.

A cognitive scientist by training, Dr. Beilock studies how people crumble or do well under pressure, and what psychological tools help them perform at their best. She has a particular focus on how women and girls perform in math and science.

She will start at Barnard, the women’s college in Manhattan that is part of Columbia University, on July 1.

Dr. Beilock said that this was a crucial moment for “ensuring that women are being educated at a higher level, being provided with the tools they need and with opportunities to be in leadership positions, in positions where they can help affect change. Being at Barnard provides an opportunity to help push that idea forward.”

Dr. Beilock replaces Debora L. Spar, who left Barnard in March after nearly nine years as president. Dr. Spar is now president of Lincoln Center. Jolyne Caruso, chairwoman of Barnard’s board of trustees, said the search process took about five months, and that Ms. Beilock was approved unanimously.

“We’re at a moment in time when we’ve accomplished a lot,” Ms. Caruso said, citing several recent projects like revamping the curriculum, developing a policy to accept transgender women, and beginning a $400 million capital campaign. “At this moment, Sian will be able to take all of this work and say, this is what the next five years will look like. We’ve completed so much of the work Debora Spar set out to do that she has a clear runway.”

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