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Bowdoin College in Brunswick chooses Harvard professor as new president

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Bowdoin College in Brunswick chooses Harvard professor as new president

BRUNSWICK — Clayton S. Rose, a faculty member at Harvard Business School, will take over as president of Bowdoin College on July 1, the college announced Monday morning.

Rose, 56, was unanimously approved by the college’s board of trustees on Monday, following the “unanimous and enthusiastic” recommendation of an 18-member presidential search committee, according to a release from the college.

He will be Bowdoin’s 15th president, succeeding Barry Mills, who last year announced his plans to leave the position.

“Clayton Rose is the ideal person to lead Bowdoin into the future,” board of trustees Chairwoman Deborah Jensen Barker said in the release. “He is immensely qualified academically, combining a passion for the liberal arts and a dedication to teaching and learning with extensive leadership experience. He’s going to be terrific as Bowdoin’s next president.”

Rose was selected following an eight-month search by a committee including college trustees, faculty, students, staff and a representative of the Bowdoin Alumni Council.

Bowdoin trustee James E. Staley, chairman of the search committee, said in the release, “Our search committee was a marvelously dedicated and eclectic group that worked hard and got along really well. That said, with faculty, students, staff, alumni, trustees and parents, we never had a problem finding issues where people disagreed or had different points of view. We met many great candidates but in the end, the committee just rallied around Clayton because of his remarkable record of success throughout a varied career, his passion and vision for the liberal arts, and his ability to be embraced by very different communities.”

A native of San Rafael, California, Rose received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago. Following a 20-year career in finance, he studied issues of race in America at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his master’s degree and PhD in 2007.

Since joining the Harvard Business School faculty in 2007, Rose has taught courses on ethics and an elective, “Reimagining Capitalism,” that “explores business engagement with society’s larger problems,” according to the release. He has also worked with the school on matters related to Title IX and the school’s honor code, and has been part of a faculty group advising on how to improve the experience of women faculty and women at Harvard Business School.

His wife, Julianne, has worked in finance and plans to start a business this year, according to the college’s release.

“Bowdoin is an exceptional liberal arts college, with a rich history, distinct set of values, and a gifted, engaged and devoted group of faculty, students, staff and alumni,” Rose said in the release. “I am honored and excited by the opportunity to lead this special institution, and Julianne and I are very much looking forward to becoming part of the Bowdoin and Brunswick communities.”

“I was convinced that Clayton Rose is the right person to lead Bowdoin when we had a conversation about the Women’s Resource Center over lunch,” said Oriana Farnham, a member of Bowdoin’s class of 2015 who served on the search committee. “He asked me many thoughtful questions about what issues and programs Bowdoin women care about. ... I could tell that he was sincerely curious about and invested in student life and our campus culture.”

Mills praised the committee’s choice as “terrific,” and said in the release, “Clayton Rose is a wonderful person and an accomplished leader. He will be a great fit for Bowdoin and I am confident that he will lead the college into a very bright future.”