September 10, 2013

New Colby College president has Maine roots, wants to build on successes

David A. Greene, executive vice president at University of Chicago, will take office July 1 as Colby College's 20th president.

By Amy Calder
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE — David A. Greene, executive vice president at University of Chicago, will take office July 1 as Colby College's 20th president.

click image to enlarge

David A. Greene, center, has been named the next president of Colby College in Waterville. Greene is chatting with his father, Richard Greene, left, and Michael Gordon, chairman of Colby College's president search committee, during a reception today in Waterville.

Staff photo by David Leaming

click image to enlarge

David A. Greene has been selected as the next president of Colby College in Waterville. Greene talks about his new position during a reception in Waterville today.

Staff photo by David Leaming

Greene, 50, will succeed William D. Adams, who has been president since 2000 and will remain in his position until June 30, 2014.

The announcement was made today by Robert E. Diamond, chairman of Colby's Board of Trustees, who hailed Greene as an innovative leader and champion of the liberal arts who is the ideal person to usher Colby into its third century. The college was founded in 1813.

Diamond called Greene bold, ambitious and strategic, and said he is a team builder with a terrific energy.

"It's a wonderful next step in the Colby leadership," Diamond, a 1973 Colby graduate, said from campus today.

As Chicago's executive vice president, Greene helped to expand the faculty, create new academic institutes and centers, develop a civic engagement plan and make major investments to infrastructure in support of research and teaching, according to a Colby news release.

He also recruited senior leadership in areas including finance and administration, alumni relations and development, communications, student and campus life, admissions and financial aid.

"At the University of Chicago since 2006, Greene oversaw a master plan for campus growth that included $3.5 billion in capital projects, provided leadership for the university's fundraising efforts and played a key role in strengthening and diversifying the university's applicant pool through strategic admissions and financial aid plans," the release said."He also helped create several partnerships and institutes that have extended the university's reach and impact, including initiatives to support scholarship and teaching in China, India and Latin America, among other locations."

Before going to Chicago, Greene was vice president at Brown University, where he helped the president develop a long-term strategic plan. He helped make significant improvements and additions to campus facilities and develop a broad range of new student services.

He also helped develop programs that enhanced the academic dimensions of residential and campus life, according to the news release. He played a similar role at Smith College, where he helped oversee planning that resulted in expansion of programs and facilities there.

Greene holds a bachelor's degree in history from Hamilton College, as well as graduate degrees from Harvard University, including two master's degrees and a doctoral degree in administration, planning and social policy. His research interests include the influence of social and political movements on higher education.

A committee made up of Colby trustees, faculty, students, administrators and alumni spent several months searching for the next person to lead the college of 1,863 students and 216 full- and part-time faculty members.

Committee chairman and Colby graduate Michael Gordon said today that the college is in good condition — strong financially and strong in terms of its student body.

"Because of that, the search attracted a lot of very good candidates interested in the presidency," Gordon said. "As Bob said, Dave made a terrific impression on us with his energy and enthusiasm and strong belief in liberal arts colleges."

Diamond said the search was daunting because the college has had great leaders in its last three presidents — Robert Strider, William Cotter and Adams, all of whom served lengthy terms.

"This is not something that Colby has to do very often," Diamond said.

Greene's ties to Maine

Greene took time this afternoon from a hectic schedule of meeting Colby students and staff members to talk about his ties to Maine, his love of the state and his plans for Colby.

"My mother's family came to this country through Maine and settled in towns not far from here — Madison, Millinocket," Greene said.

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