Klawe Named President of Harvey Mudd

Renowned computer scientist Maria Klawe will make the move from her post as dean of Princeton University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (NJ), to Harvey Mudd College [www.hmc.edu] in the Los Angeles suburb of Claremont, CA, where she will become the college's fifth president on July 1. She succeeds Jon Strauss, who served as president for nine years.

"I can't wait to get started," Klawe said. "The world needs Mudd to continue its wonderful track record of innovation in undergraduate engineering, science, and mathematics education, and to lead the way in developing the next generation of educational advances. The college has the right group of talented and dedicated people: faculty, students, alumni, staff, and trustees to do this. Mudd also has the level of spirit, creativity, drive, and energy that will be needed."

This academic year, Mudd celebrates its 50th anniversary. It has been known since its founding for a focus on liberal undergraduate education as well as for the opportunities for research it presents to undergraduate students. Michael Shanahan, chair of the Harvey Mudd College board of trustees remarked, "[Klawe's] keen understanding and appreciation for the value of undergraduate education and research makes her the perfect choice for us." And Shanahan was likely thinking of Mudd's trademark Clinic Program-which involves upper-level student teams in year-long, real-world industry projects-when he said, "Her experience in industry will be a major asset as we continue to develop corporate relationships." Klawe worked in industry for eight years, including positions at the IBM Almaden Research Center.

Klawe is currently chair of the board of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. Her advocacy of women and minorities in engineering, mathematics, and science should be an asset to Mudd, where recent gains in the percentage of women students reflect a commitment to change-the percent of women students rose from 20 percent in 1990 to 33 percent in 2005. Mudd ranks second in the US for the percentage of women on the engineering faculty.

Klawe, who earned her Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Alberta (Canada), has held academic positions at Oakland University (MI), the University of Toronto (Canada), the University of British Columbia (Canada), and currently, Princeton University.

Mudd is one of five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions that make up the Claremont Colleges Consortium (CA). Nancy Bekavac, president of Scripps College (CA)-just across the street from Mudd-expressed her impressions of Mudd's future president, observing, "[Klawe] is bright, enormously committed to teaching, politically astute, self-confident, unstuffy and informal, pragmatic, and utterly down-to-earth. She will be a wonderful addition to the Council of Presidents of the Claremont Colleges."

(Photo by CT staff)

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