September 25, 2000

Dean of Students To Leave Cornell

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John Lewis Ford, Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students, will leave Cornell to become the newest vice president and dean of campus life at Emory University.

He will begin his tenure there on January 3, 2001, pending the expected approval of the Board of Trustees.

“Everyone we talked to was tremendously impressed with his intellect, his ideas and his wisdom,” said Emory Provost Rebecca Chopp in a press release.

Ford said that his appointment as a 1998 American Council on Education Fellow caused him to consider how his position would be different at other schools.

“I wondered what I could accomplish at a smaller university,” Ford said.

“This is an opportunity that doesn’t present itself very often.”

He added that the position will allow him to work with both graduate and undergraduate students as well as faculty members. In addition, Emory is close to the Center for Disease Control Center and the Carter Center, both located in Atlanta, Ga., allowing him to continue research in health care and public service projects, respectively.

“I think he’ll bring great experience and understanding of both the student side as well as the faculty side and how to bring those two together,” said Susan H. Murphy ’73, vice president for student and academic services.

Ford replaces the former Emory Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Frances Lucas-Taucher, who left the college in July to become the president of Millsaps College, a liberal arts school in Jackson, Miss.

Murphy will organize the University’s own search committee for the next dean of students. Nominations for the position will be accepted after fall break.

The search will draw applicants from tenured faculty already on campus, according to Henrik N. Dullea ’61, vice president for University relations.

“We’re thrilled for him and sad for us,” Murphy said.

“He’s a personable administrator,” said Uzo Asonye ’02, president of the Student Assembly. “I’ve never looked at him as the typical administrator … he’s always been a guy I could approach.”

In 1992, Ford became the first Cornell faculty member to assume the position as dean of students. He was appointed to a second five-year term in 1997.

Ford joined Cornell in 1974 as a lecturer in policy analysis and management.

“He was a very popular professor in the college of Human Ecology,” Dullea said. “He’s been very thoughtful in student affairs.”

“I’m going to miss the students very very very much,” Ford said. “Cornell students are fantastic.”

Ford’s wife, Hilary, served as assistant dean and director of graduate school admissions. Murphy noted that “we’re sorry to lose Hilary,” who has been involved in “many different projects that touched the lives of graduate students” at Cornell.

“I just hope we can find someone as good as him to replace him,” said Asonye. “It’s sad to see him go.”

Archived article by Beth Herskovits