The Colgate Scene
July 2001
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Charles Karelis resigns presidency; Jane Pinchin to serve in interim

  As the July issue of the Scene went to press, the Colgate community learned of Charles Karelis's decision to resign the presidency, effective July 31, and return to the policymaking environment of Washington, DC.

     In a June 14 letter to the campus community, Trustee Chair John A. Golden announced that Jane Pinchin will serve as interim president while a national search is conducted for a successor.

     Golden expressed the appreciation of the entire Colgate community, saying that "President Karelis has served our college through two challenging years." Golden cited as accomplishments of the Karelis years the completion of a long-term plan for academic excellence, work with faculty in launching important initiatives, and continued success in admission and fundraising.

     He said of Pinchin: "She is a highly regarded and totally dedicated member of the Colgate community, and she is certain to provide excellent leadership with the assistance of the college's senior administrative team." Pinchin, who arrived at Colgate in 1969 as a member of the faculty in English and one of the first women to teach at the college, has served in most of the significant positions in academic administration including, since 1994, provost and dean of the faculty. In that position she has been the college's second-ranking officer.

     In a letter to the campus community, Pinchin said: "Buddy Karelis brought a wide palette of experience in higher education policy to Colgate, and an attention to the large picture -- a philosopher's eye. That look has been invigorating and I, like many others, have learned much from him that I will take into the future: into a year in which I promise you my energy and every drop of wisdom I can muster. I will also ask you to help me, with that extra effort that has characterized this community, to make 2001-2002 one of the most exciting years before us, marked by high seriousness and sun."

     Among the roles that she will serve in the months ahead, Pinchin will be, ex officio, a member of the Task Force on Campus Culture. Empanelled this spring by the Board of Trustees, the task force of trustees, faculty, students and administrative staff members is charged with making recommendations of ways in which "the campus culture can be enhanced to make the college even stronger." The task force expects to make an interim report to the trustees this fall.

     The search for a successor to Karelis will begin immediately. Golden said that the board expects to announce a new president by next summer. Golden has asked his fellow trustee Howard Ellins '73 to chair a presidential search committee of trustees, to be advised by faculty and students.

     Golden cited the excellence of the faculty and administrative staff, the quality of the student body, the loyalty of alumni, the "remarkable academic and extracurricular programs," and the beauty of the campus to underscore his statement that "Colgate is in an extremely strong position."

     Details of the presidential search will be reported in subsequent editions of the Scene, and online at

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