Transitions: People in Academe

Rice U.

Charles McConnell
September 09, 2013


Selwyn M. Vickers, a professor and chair of the surgery department at the University of Minnesota Medical School, has been named senior vice president for medicine and dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Medicine.

Charles McConnell, a former assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, has been named executive director of the Energy and Environment Initiative at Rice University. He will lead efforts to form partnerships with the energy industry to develop sustainable technologies and practices.

Walt MacDonald, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Educational Testing Service, will become president and chief executive of the nonprofit organization, which administers the GRE and other tests. On January 1 he will succeed Kurt M. Landgraf, who has been president since 2000.

Vernon Henderson, who was a professor of political economy at Brown University, has joined the London School of Economics and Political Science as a professor of economic geography. More than a dozen professors from American institutions have joined the London School as part of its global recruitment drive.

Nancy Donner, a communications consultant who was vice president for communications and external affairs at the New School, has been appointed vice president for communications and marketing at the New York Institute of Technology.


Robert Bogomolny, president of the University of Baltimore since 2002, will retire in August 2014. After a year of travel, he expects to teach in the university's law school.

William J. Pepicello will retire as president of the University of Phoenix after someone is found to succeed him. He has been an administrator at the university since 1995 and president since 2006.

Christopher Edley Jr., who has been dean of the University of California at Berkeley's School of Law since 2004, is on medical leave for treatment of prostate cancer and will step down from his post on December 31. He plans to continue as a faculty member. Gillian Lester, a law-school professor, will serve as acting dean this academic year.


Ronald H. Coase, a British-born scholar who spent most of his academic career at the University of Chicago Law School, died on September 2. He was 102. Mr. Coase received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1991. He is credited with helping to create the field of law and economics, and with discovering many of the ideas that are at the foundation of modern economics.