Transitions: People in Academe

February 18, 2013

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Job Moves

Debra Saunders-White, deputy assistant secretary for higher education in the U.S. Department of Education, will become chancellor of North Carolina Central University in June.

U. of Georgia
Rodney Bennett, the next president of the U. of Southern Mississippi
Rodney Bennett, vice president for student affairs at the University of Georgia, has been named president of the University of Southern Mississippi. He will begin on April 1.

William N. Ruud, president of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, will become president of the University of Northern Iowa in June. He succeeds Benjamin J. Allen, who is retiring after having led the institution since 2006.


Steven Leslie, executive vice president and provost of the University of Texas at Austin, says he plans to step down from that role in August and return to research and teaching in the College of Pharmacy. He has been provost for six years.

Tessa Martinez Pollack will step down in March as president of Our Lady of the Lake University, in San Antonio, the university says. She has led the institution since 2002.

In Memoriam

Kenneth W. Thompson, who directed the University of Virginia's Miller Center from 1978 to 1998, died on February 2. He was 91. Under his leadership, the nonpartisan institute began its presidential oral-history program and forums in which scholars, government officials, and journalists shared ideas. Mr. Thompson also edited a series of publications on current political issues for the center.

Arthur Wightman, a professor emeritus at Princeton University who was one of the founders of modern mathematical physics, died of Alzheimer's disease on January 13. He was 90. He is known for his research on the mathematical foundations of quantum field theory.

Ronald M. Dworkin, a professor of law and philosophy at New York University for many years who also taught at University College London, died of leukemia in London on February 14. He was 81. He wrote several books, including Law's Empire and Justice for Hedgehogs, and contributed often to The New York Review of Books.