The president of Princeton University announced Friday that he will step down from his post at the end of this academic year, bringing to three the number of Ivy League schools in search of a president.
Harold T. Shapiro, a Canadian-born economist, began his term as Princeton's 18th president in 1988.
His announcement--along with former Brown President E. Gordon Gee's abrupt move to Vanderbilt University and the impending departure of Harvard's President Neil L. Rudenstine--means that three prestigious institutions may find themselves competing for the same top prospects.
In a Friday afternoon press conference to announce his decision, Shapiro noted that he had recently turned 65 and said he wanted to return to teaching and research.
"It is at least my sense that I am leaving Princeton at the top of its game," he said. "The university is really in very good shape with lots of capacity for my successor and the board of trustees to take new initiatives."
He said Princeton's recently completed $1.14 billion capital campaign was another factor contributing to his decision that it was time for a change.
A search committee comprised of nine Princeton trustees, five faculty members, three students and one staff member will make a recommendation to the full board of trustees concerning Shapiro's successor.
Virtually all of the current searches for university presidents include faculty and students in some sort of formal advisory capacity--if not on the search committee itself, then as a part of an adjunct body.
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