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President Catharine Hill will complete her term to head the respected higher education research and strategy group Ithaka S+R, after ten years of transformative leadership

President Catharine “Cappy” Hill announced today that she has accepted the position of Managing Director of Ithaka S+R, the research and strategy arm of the respected educational not-for-profit organization ITHAKA. Ithaka S+R is dedicated to helping institutions of higher education and their leaders broaden access to higher education, improve student outcomes, transition to today’s digital environment, and control costs. Hill will conclude her Vassar presidency on August 15 and begin her new role at Ithaka S+R in early September. This follows on her March announcement that she would complete her presidency in the coming year.

William A. Plapinger, Chair of the Vassar College Board of Trustees, announced today that the Board had unanimously elected Jonathan L. Chenette, Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Music at Vassar since 2008, to serve as Interim President as the college continues to conduct the search for its eleventh president. Chenette will assume his new office on August 15 and serve through June 30, 2017, after which he will return to his role as Dean of the Faculty. Chenette earlier was Acting President of Vassar during President Hill’s sabbatical in the spring of 2013.

“Vassar's many strengths, including its legacy of providing an exceptional education to those who had previously been denied the opportunity, drew me to the college a decade ago, as they have drawn so many others over the institution’s extraordinary history,” said President Hill in an email today to the campus and the wider college community. “I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity as Vassar’s tenth president to work with many of you — faculty, students, staff, alumnae/i, and parents — and I am deeply grateful for how much you have done to continue to strengthen the college we care so much about.”

Further she wrote, “I very much look forward to the work at Ithaka S+R, which will focus on increasing opportunities for our colleges and universities to deliver quality higher education for students across the country, work that naturally builds on what we have been able to accomplish at Vassar and takes it to a national level. This is a wonderful and very compelling opportunity to continue my work as an economist and educator.”

Hill also noted that, “While the opportunity to lead Ithaka S+R is resulting in my leaving Vassar earlier than I had anticipated, I am proud of what we have accomplished over the past ten years. The college is in a strong position and I know with your dedication and generosity the college will continue to lead the way for other colleges and universities in providing an excellent liberal arts education to a diverse student body.”

Commenting on President Hill’s service, Plapinger wrote today to the Vassar community that, “The Board is deeply grateful for Cappy’s exceptional contributions to the college over the past decade. The quality and diversity of our student body, the renovation and construction of the buildings comprising the Integrated Science Commons, the successful completion of the recent capital campaign, and the college’s growing reputation are legacies that should make Cappy and Vassar proud.”

The complete statements from President Hill and Vassar Board Chair William Plapinger are available online.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Read a recent New York Times story about President Hill's accomplishments.