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HBS Professor Named President of Bowdoin College

By Nathan P. Press, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Business School Professor Clayton S. Rose will assume the presidency of Bowdoin College in July, according to a college-wide email released Monday by Chair of the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees Deborah Jensen Barker. The Bowdoin board of trustees unanimously approved a search committee’s unanimous decision to select Rose for the role Monday morning.

“He’s going to be terrific as Bowdoin’s next president,” Barker wrote in her email. “He is immensely qualified academically, combining a passion for the liberal arts and a dedication to teaching and learning with extensive leadership experience.”

A faculty member at the Business School since 2007, Rose pioneered a second-year elective class in 2009 titled “Managing the Financial Firm” in response to the 2008 financial crisis, using the collapse of Lehman Brothers as a case study.

“The course was shaped very fundamentally by the financial crisis,” Rose said in a 2009 interview.

Rose brought to the class his experience as a former vice chairman at JP Morgan’s predecessor company JP Morgan & Co. There, he headed two of the firm’s five major departments and led its global diversity initiative, according to a profile of him on Forbes. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, according to his Business School faculty page.

Apart from his professorship, Rose is currently a director at both Bank of America and XL Group PLC, as well as a trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

“Bowdoin is an exceptional liberal arts college, with a rich history, distinct set of values, and a gifted, engaged and devoted group of faculty, students, staff and alumni,” Rose said in a press release. “I am honored and excited by the opportunity to lead this special institution, and Julianne and I are very much looking forward to becoming part of the Bowdoin and Brunswick communities.”

Bowdoin search committee members and former colleagues from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute echoed support for Rose in light of his academic and administrative credentials.

“Clayton Rose is quite thoughtful with a great sense of integrity and a passion for social justice...He beautifully articulates the value of a liberal arts education, yet he understands the pressures facing the College now and in the future,” search committee member and Bowdoin professor Jack Bateman said in Barker’s email.

“As someone who has moved from the corporate world to academia and is convinced that liberal education is the one thing needed in our increasingly utilitarian universe, Clayton will be a powerful spokesperson for the value of the liberal arts,” Bowdoin professor and search committee member Paul Franco said in the email.

—Staff writer Nathan P. Press can be reached at

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