Adam F. Falk, Ph.D.
Since becoming the 17th president of Williams in April 2010, Adam Falk has focused on advancing the college’s mission of providing the finest possible liberal arts education by working with faculty to enhance the curriculum, further enrich student residential life, and maximize the educational value derived from the growing diversity of the college’s students, faculty, and staff.
In his time at Williams, he has overseen a wide range of initiatives aimed at strengthening the college, its campus community, and its relationships to and connections with Williams alumni and families, Williamstown, and the Northern Berkshire region. These include the fostering of experiential learning and community engagement through the launch of the Center for Learning in Action; the transformation of teaching and learning in the humanities and social sciences through the completion of the new Sawyer Library, and in the sciences through the development of a new Science Center set to open in 2020; the nurturing of the arts through the renovation of Chapin Hall and the expansion of interdisciplinary arts programming, and the promotion of participation and excellence in athletics through the renewal of the Weston Athletic Complex.
Falk has advocated nationally for the liberal arts and for increased access and affordability of higher education. Together with the board of trustees and the entire college community, he has set ambitious goals aimed at contributing to the fight against climate change, including the pursuit of the Living Building Challenge for the college’s Class of 1966 Environmental Center, the development of a year-long campus inquiry for 2016-17 called Confronting Climate Change, and the setting of goals for achieving carbon neutrality and investing the college’s endowment in projects that benefit the environment.
On campus and in the local community, he and his administration have worked to foster inclusiveness and equity; enhance the health, safety, and well being of students, faculty, and staff; and contribute to the region’s economic development and to the quality of and access to healthcare, primary and secondary education, and affordable housing. He is currently leading the college’s largest-ever fundraising effort, the comprehensive Teach It Forward Campaign, seeking $650 million in support for financial aid, faculty support, and other elements essential to the future of the college.
A high-energy physicist and award-winning teacher whose research focuses on elementary particle physics and quantum field theory, Falk is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a winner of awards from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, the Research Corporation, and the Sloan Foundation.
Falk graduated with highest distinction as a Morehead-Cain Scholar from the University of North Carolina in 1987, and he earned his Ph.D. in 1991 from Harvard University, where he received numerous awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching. He held postdoctoral appointments at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and the University of California, San Diego, before joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1994. From 2006 to 2010 he served as the James B. Knapp Dean of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, following four years of service as Dean of the Faculty and then Interim Dean.