Columns, Essays, and Speeches

Living, Learning

The world’s issues have always been Williams’ issues. Our campus may be tucked away in the northwestern corner of Massachusetts, but the college and our people are continually shaped by broad social crosscurrents. Through our educational work, and our moral and political agency, we can influence that larger world in… Continue reading »

Strategic Planning update: October 2019

Williams faculty, staff and students, We’re well into an active semester of Strategic Planning, so I wanted to send another update on what we’ve accomplished and what to expect. This fall, the working groups and strategic academic initiatives have held more than 120 campus outreach meetings… Continue reading »

On Campus Activism: From the Summer 2019 Williams Magazine

President’s column from the Summer 2019 edition of Williams Magazine. Explore the full summer issue at https://magazine.williams.edu/2019/summer/ It’s summer in Williamstown: a wonderful time to step out onto campus and feel the embrace of mountains on all sides. And yet this summer also feels like the quiet… Continue reading »

Claiming Williams 2019: What Does It Mean to Claim Williams?

Welcome. I’m honored to host my first Claiming Williams. This day is an important point in the year, thanks to the breadth of programming and community impact. The nature of the event was shaped by the day’s origins in student and community action, after some disruptive and upsetting bias incidents… Continue reading »

How to Disagree

Ours is an institution of higher learning; such learning cannot occur without broad and enthusiastic exposure to a wide range of ideas and perspectives. Continue reading »

Why ‘Need-Blind’ is the Wrong Goal for College Admissions

“Need-blindness,” taken literally, is actually a narrow and misleading construct. There’s a passiveness to the term that implies, quite wrongly, that we can address the issue of college accessibility simply by turning a blind eye to students’ financial circumstances. Rather, what’s needed is for colleges to act affirmatively to bring socioeconomic diversity to our campuses. Continue reading »

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