Karen Lawrence to Become 10th SLC President
Capping a six-month search, the Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Karen Lawrence as the College’s tenth president. She will succeed Michele Myers on August 1, 2007
The new president, a noted James Joyce scholar, has a record of innovative, creative and collaborative leadership at the School of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine, where she has served as dean since 1998. In this capacity she leads curriculum, recruitment, fundraising, budget and physical plant activities for a school of 2,200 undergraduates, 450 graduate students, 180 faculty and 100 staff members. The School of Humanities, noted for its commitment to undergraduate teaching, also boasts numerous master's and Ph.D. programs ranked among the best in the nation.
“Dr. Lawrence has been a champion of the liberal arts, pioneering the establishment of interdisciplinary programs among the humanities, the arts and the sciences,” said SLC Board Chair Robert Riggs. “We know that as our next president, she will be an effective and articulate ambassador for Sarah Lawrence College.”
And Lawrence herself is looking forward to her new assignment. “I am deeply honored to be named the next president of Sarah Lawrence College,” she said at a November meeting introducing her to the campus. “I look forward to supporting and enhancing the intellectual liveliness and social responsibility that characterize this unique place.”
An energetic fundraiser, Lawrence established a number of faculty chairs and led the conception, funding and implementation of two major UC Irvine centers: the International Center for Writing and Translation, and the Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture. She has also championed diversity in faculty hiring and humanities outreach programs to underserved areas. Prior to her appointment at UC Irvine, she was a professor of literature-and chair of the department-at the University of Utah.
Lawrence attended Smith College from 1967 to 1969, but transferred to the newly coed Yale University to complete her B.A. in English. Her advanced degrees are both in English: an M.A. from Tufts University and a Ph.D., with distinction, from Columbia University. Lawrence's numerous awards and professional accolades include a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Ramona Cannon Award for distinguished teaching in the humanities, and the University of Utah's prestigious Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence in Research, Teaching and Service.