Princeton University dean accepts Harvey Mudd College presidency

Maria Klawe lauded for leadership and planning at School of Engineering and Applied Science

By: David Campbell
   Maria Klawe, dean of Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, will leave Princeton to become president of Harvey Mudd College, a liberal-arts school in California that focuses on engineering, science and mathematics education.
   Her new appointment is effective July 1, the university said.
   Dean Klawe joined Princeton at the start of 2003 as dean of the engineering school and professor of computer science. Before coming to the university, she served for 15 years on the faculty and in senior administrative positions at the University of British Columbia.
   Prior to that, she spent eight years with IBM Research in California and two years at the University of Toronto. Dean Klawe received her doctorate from the University of Alberta.
   Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman thanked the dean for her leadership and for strategic planning that she said offers an "exciting vision" for engineering at Princeton.
   "The plan identifies as its highest priority the training of engineers who will become leaders, and builds on the core strengths of the engineering school while fostering a greater interplay with Princeton’s traditional strengths in the sciences, humanities and social sciences," President Tilghman said in a news release.
   "As we continue to carry out the plan she helped us develop for Princeton, we wish her every success in her new responsibilities at Harvey Mudd," the Princeton president said.
   Engineering school spokesman Steven Schultz said this week that the university will convene a search committee and that internal and external candidates will likely be considered.
   He said more than 800 people took part in the strategic planning, and pointed to a tremendous sense of purpose and moving forward at the engineering school today.
   "When I go around and talk to people at the engineering school, I find an enormous sense of momentum," Mr. Shultz said. "Maria led the school in creating a strategic vision, but that vision goes far beyond one person. So now, almost two years out, there is still a lot of excitement and purpose within the school as we carry out our plans."
   Professor Peter Ramadge, chairman of electrical engineering at the school, said Dean Klawe arrived at Princeton "and had a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and energy" for crafting a vision for the school. She set to work to bring faculty together to help frame it, he said.
   "It wasn’t something that came down from the top," Professor Ramadge said. "That places us in a very strong position to continue to move forward."
   He said Dean Klawe’s "energy and enthusiasm will certainly be missed."
   Harvey Mudd College was founded in 1955 as one of The Claremont Colleges in Claremont, Calif. A search for Dean Klawe’s successor at the engineering school is expected to start soon, the university said.