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Provost Atkinson to serve as Interim President

July 01, 2009

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Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Jane Atkinson, Vice President and Provost, Interim President beginning August 1. She will serve as Interim President until the Board of Trustees appoints a new president to succeed Thomas Hochstettler who announced in March his intention to step down and will assume a position as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

Atkinson has served the college for more than 30 years in a number of leadership positions.

“No one knows and understands Lewis & Clark College more thoroughly than Jane,” said Ron Ragen, chair of the Board of Trustees. “We are incredibly fortunate to have such a trusted and gifted leader stepping up to serve our college. We are grateful for her dedication and look forward to working with her while the search for a new president is underway.”  

Atkinson first joined Lewis & Clark in 1978 as an assistant professor of anthropology. Over the next 22 years, she held many leadership roles, including Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, director of the Gender Studies Program, Dean of Social Sciences and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2000, she assumed her current position as Vice President and Provost. Since that time, Atkinson has served as Acting Vice President for Institutional Advancement from 2004-05 and Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Counseling and Psychology during the 2002-03 and 2007-08 academic years.

“I am honored that the Board has placed its trust in me to oversee the college during this time of transition,” Atkinson said. “Lewis & Clark has gained impressive momentum in the last few years and is advancing on many fronts. It will be a pleasure to continue working closely with the leadership at our three schools on a host of significant projects and initiatives as we anticipate the arrival of our new president.”

Atkinson received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University and an A.B. from Bryn Mawr College. She has received numerous awards for her academic leadership and research.

A presidential search committee was formed this spring to begin the process of finding a successor to President Hochstettler.