Less that 5 days ago the Schumpeter column at the Economist called on University Presidents in the US to step up as great presidents had in the past and create truly responsive institutions — think Van Hise (University of Wisconsin) or University of Chicago (Harper). From the Economist:
Nearly 100 years ago American universities faced similar worries about rising costs and detachment from the rest of society. Lawrence Lowell, the president of Harvard, argued that “institutions are rarely murdered; they meet their end by suicide…They die because they have outlived their usefulness, or fail to do the work that the world wants done.” America’s universities quickly began “the work that the world wants done” and started a century of American dominance of higher education. They need to repeat the trick if that century is not to end in failure.
In related, and important news to me and my students, George Mason University has named its next university president: Ángel Cabrera.
From Connect2Mason: “Cabrera, the sitting president and a professor at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona, will succeed current university president, Alan Merten, who after 15 year’s will step down from the university’s top administrator position in the summer of 2012.”
I almost applied to Thunderbird for grad school (ended up joining the ‘international’ cohort at the University of Chicago Booth School), but know @cabreraangel from Twitter. This looks like a great development for George Mason University.
You can read Dr. Cabrera’s official bio from Thunderbird, but its clear he has lots of experience with business education, entrepreneurship, and social entrepreneurship. All sounds good to me. Looking forward to meeting President Cabrera soon.