Transitions People in Academe

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Balaji Rajagopalan
June 17, 2013


John P. Wilkin, an associate university librarian at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, will become dean of libraries and university librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on August 16. Mr. Wilkin directs the Michigan library's information-technology and publishing divisions and the university press. He will also step down as executive director of the HathiTrust Digital Library, an online repository of more than 60 research libraries.

David S. Lee, a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University, will become provost on July 1.

Balaji Rajagopalan, pro vice chancellor and dean of Galgotias University, in India, has been named director of the Sam and Irene Black School of Business at Pennsylvania State University at Erie, known as the Behrend College.

Eric McFarland, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of California at Santa Barbara, will become inaugural director of the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation at the University of Queensland, in Australia.

James A. Leach, a former congressman from Iowa who stepped down last month as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will become a visiting professor of law at the University of Iowa.

James E. Ryan, a professor of law and of civil liberties and human rights at the University of Virginia, will become dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He will start on September 1, succeeding Kathleen McCartney, who will become president of Smith College on July 1.

Beverly Davenport Sypher, vice provost for faculty affairs at Purdue University, will become senior vice president for academic affairs and provost of the University of Cincinnati on July 1.


Scott S. Cowen, president of Tulane University, says he will retire from that post effective July 1, 2014. He has led the institution, which was badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina eight years ago, since 1998.


Robert W. Fogel, an economic historian and a professor of American institutions at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, died following a brief illness on June 11. He was 86. In 1993 he and Douglass C. North shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for their work applying economic theory and statistical methods to explain history, Mr. Fogel's research findings shook long-held beliefs. He argued, for instance, that economic growth in the United States in the 1800s did not depend on the expansion of the railroad. A book he wrote with Stanley L. Engerman, Time on the Cross, challenged the idea that slavery had become unprofitable or inefficient in the years preceding the Civil War. Mr. Fogel also was director of the Center for Population Economics, at Chicago, where he had been on the faculty since 1981 and from 1964 to 1975.