Announcing the next director of Williams-Exeter Programme

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that Sam Crane, the Edward S. Greenbaum 1910 Professor in Political Science, has accepted our invitation to become the next director of the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University (WEPO). His term of service will be two years, starting July 1, 2024.

Sam has been a member of the Williams Political Science Department since 1989, teaching courses on Chinese politics, East Asian International Relations and ancient Chinese philosophy.

His most recent research and writing focus on contemporary applications of early Chinese philosophy, including a book, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Dao (2013), and several articles, of which one, “The Problem of Power in Classical Confucian Thought” (2021), is the kernel of his current work. His public commentary has been collected in Blogging China in the 21st Century: Philosophical, Historical, and Political Observations from The Useless Tree Blog (2019).

Sam has held various important leadership positions at the college, including several stints as chair of the Political Science Department, the Asian Studies Department, and the Global Studies Program. He has also served on the Faculty Steering Committee, the Committee on Educational Policy and as Director of Summer Humanities and Social Sciences Program.

As WEPO director Sam will be the primary academic and personal advisor for the 26 juniors who enroll in the program each year. He will hold the title of Director of WEPO and Supernumerary Fellow at Exeter College, and he will work with other Exeter fellows and Oxford instructors to arrange our students’ tutorials. Sam will live in the director’s residence adjacent to Ephraim Williams House, where the students live.

Sam will succeed Professor of Philosophy Bojana Mladenovic in this position. Bojana has been in residence in Oxford since August 2022 and will continue to serve through next year. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude, and that of the faculty, to Bojana and Sam for their willingness to serve the college in this capacity.