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Robert Durkee


Marilyn Marks

(609) 258-6428

(609) 258-3601

Vice President for Public Affairs

Media Relations Manager

September 22, 2000

Harold Shapiro to Complete His Presidency
of Princeton Next Summer


Princeton, N.J. -- Harold T. Shapiro, president of Princeton University since 1988 and one of the most respected leaders in American higher education for more than two decades, will complete his presidency next summer, after the end of the current academic year. Shapiro announced his plans to the University's trustees this afternoon at their regularly scheduled September meeting.

"Thanks to his vision, his sensitivity to the concerns of everyone in the Princeton family, and his unlimited energy, Harold Shapiro has provided extraordinary leadership for Princeton over these past twelve years--strengthening its faculty and its student body, enhancing its programs of teaching and research, revitalizing its campus and dramatically increasing its endowment," said Robert H. Rawson, Jr., chair of the board's executive committee. "He also has served with great distinction in a number of major leadership roles outside of Princeton, while also finding time to teach both undergraduate and graduate students. We will be sorry to see his presidency come to an end, but we are deeply grateful to Harold, and to his wife, Vivian, for their many contributions to Princeton, and we look forward to their continuing participation in the life of this campus and this community for many years to come."

A native of Canada, Shapiro received his Ph.D. in economics from Princeton in 1964. He returned as Princeton's 18th president in 1988 after serving for eight years as the president of the University of Michigan. He also holds an appointment at Princeton as professor of economics and public affairs. After completing his service as president, he plans to return to full-time teaching and research.

Under Shapiro's leadership, Princeton celebrated its 250th anniversary, expanded its motto (at his initiative) from "Princeton in the Nation's Service" to "Princeton in the Nation's Service and in the Service of All Nations," and completed this past summer the most successful fundraising campaign in the University's history, raising a total of $1.14 billion, with contributions from 78 percent of all undergraduate alumni.

Among many other accomplishments, Shapiro has

•   proposed and implemented several undergraduate teaching initiatives, including the creation of a special fund to support innovation, a program to bring exceptional teachers to Princeton as visiting faculty, awards for excellent teaching that are presented each year at Commencement, and a Center for Teaching and Learning; he has also overseen a significant expansion of Princeton's freshman seminar program and of opportunities for students to study abroad.

•   presided over a period of steady growth in the size and distinction of the faculty, and the development of such new academic programs as an Institute in Integrative Genomics, an interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Religion, the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts (anchored by the Cotsen Fellows in the Humanities), the Center for Human Values, new masters programs in finance, engineering and public policy, and new initiatives in alumni education, including a recently announced alliance with Oxford, Stanford and Yale to expand the on-line educational opportunities they offer to their students and alumni.

•   overseen successful efforts to increase both the overall quality and the diversity of Princeton's undergraduate and graduate student bodies, including substantial improvements in Princeton's undergraduate student aid programs to meet more effectively the needs of both lower and middle income families, actions that have encouraged similar improvements at a number of other universities; during his presidency, the percentage of international students in the undergraduate student body has almost doubled (to 10 percent) and there also have been significant increases in graduate fellowship support. (Princeton is celebrating the centennial of its Graduate School this academic year.)

•   initiated the most substantial program of building renovation (especially dormitory renovation) in Princeton's history, while also overseeing the construction of such important new buildings as the Frist Campus Center; Scully dormitory; new academic space for the social sciences in Fisher, Bendheim and Wallace Halls, for physics teaching in McDonnell Hall, for engineering education in the Friend Center, for genomics in Icahn laboratory, and for the Center for Human Values in Marx Hall; new athletic space at Princeton Stadium, the Weaver track, the Shea Rowing Center and 1952 field; and the Berlind Theatre addition to McCarter Theatre. Planning will proceed this year for a sixth residential college and other additional dormitory space to accommodate the 10 percent increase in the size of the undergraduate student body that the trustees approved last spring, an increase that will not take effect until the new college is completed.

•   overseen a quadrupling of the University's endowment from approximately $2 billion in 1988 to over $8 billion currently, a steady reduction in the annual rate of tuition increases (to 3.3 percent last year), and an improvement in the University's administrative procedures through an ongoing program of administrative review.

As a national leader, Shapiro is the only president to have been listed by Change magazine among the most influential university presidents in both the 1980s and the 1990s. He has served two U.S. presidents: George Bush as a member and vice chair (1992-93) of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and Bill Clinton as chair, since 1996, of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC). He also has served on many other federal and state panels. Last spring, the Council of Scientific Society Presidents awarded Shapiro its 2000 Leadership Citation for "stellar leadership toward resolution of the most complex ethical issues, created by frontier life sciences research."

Within the higher education community, Shapiro has chaired the boards of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE), and has served on the boards of the American Council on Education (ACE) and other organizations. He also chairs the board of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; co-chairs New Jersey's Edison Partnership; and serves on a number of other boards, including those of the Educational Testing Service, the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), where he serves on the executive committee.

Shapiro has received 14 honorary degrees, including, most recently, an honorary degree (along with his twin brother, Bernard, principal and vice chancellor of McGill University in Montreal) from the University of Edinburgh, the alma mater of two of Princeton's most distinguished presidents, John Witherspoon and James McCosh. A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Shapiro is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

As president of Princeton, Shapiro presides over meetings of the Board of Trustees, the faculty, and the student-faculty-staff-alumni Council of the Princeton University Community. He also chairs the Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments and Advancements that reviews every proposed faculty appointment and promotion. He has authored a "President's Page" in each issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly; has continued to publish articles in the academic literature; has held regular office hours for any interested students; and has taught courses in the history of American higher education and in bioethics. The Shapiros have traveled extensively to meet with alumni around the country and at locations in both Europe and Asia, and have frequently hosted breakfasts for groups of students in their home.

The search for Shapiro's successor will be coordinated by a committee of trustees, faculty, students and staff that will be chaired by Mr. Rawson. The committee will include nine members of the board, five members elected by the faculty, three students, and one member elected by the University staff. Suggestions can be directed to the committee through the office of the Secretary of the University in 217 Nassau Hall.

Photographic portrait of Harold T. Shapiro

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