2013 Academic Leadership Awards

Grantees in this story

New York, New York, December 9, 2013 — Carnegie Corporation of New York today announced four recipients of its 2013 Academic Leadership Award. Each winner is an exceptional president of a U.S. college or university. The award is in the form of a $500,000 grant to be used in support of each honoree’s academic initiatives.

The 2013 honorees are:

  • Richard H. Brodhead, President, Duke University, Durham, NC
  • Michael M. Crow, President, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  • John L. Hennessy, President, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  • Beverly Daniel Tatum, President, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA

The Academic Leadership Award, established in 2005, builds on Carnegie Corporation’s long tradition of developing and recognizing leadership in higher education. The award honors university presidents who are not only resourceful administrators and managers, but also have a keen interest in the liberal arts and a commitment to excellence and access, curricular innovation, reform of K-12 education, international engagement, and the promotion of strong links between their institutions and their local communities.

“At a time when we all recognize that education is crucial to the future of our society, economy, and democracy, the quality of the leadership of higher education institutions is of paramount importance,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “I’m very proud that Carnegie Corporation, since 2005, has singled out 16 exemplary college and university presidents in the United States.”

The award is distinctive because it does not give money directly to the honoree. Rather, the $500,000 grant is given to each institution to be used at the discretion of the honoree to further each winner’s academic priorities. 

This year’s award recipients and examples of their accomplishments:

Richard Brodhead

Starting with his inaugural in 2004, President Brodhead has made the university’s primary mission “knowledge in service to society.”  His vision exemplifies the achievements that the Academic Leadership Award recognizes, including access and excellence, a commitment to the liberal arts, interdisciplinarity, and global engagement. President Brodhead also serves as co-chair of the national Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his initiatives, President Brodhead:

  • Created Duke Engage to provide full funding so that each year some 400 students can undertake immersive civic engagement activities for a minimum of eight weeks in partner communities in the United States and around the world. Programs range from health education outreach in Haiti and environmental conservation efforts in Thailand to the mapping of invasive plant species in Oregon and North Carolina.
  • Launched the Financial Aid Initiative in 2005 and within three years raised more than $300 million. As a result, Duke’s spending on undergraduate, need-based aid more than doubled in five years, from $62.8 million in 2008-2009 to $132 million in 2013-2014. President Brodhead currently leads the Duke Forward campaign, which is raising $3.25 billion for academic programs and student aid.
  • Created an Office of Durham and Regional Affairs enhancing the university’s role as an advocate and partner for economic growth and community development in the city and the surrounding region. Priorities include economic development, affordable homeownership, neighborhood revitalization and education. Duke graduate and undergraduate students volunteer in dozens of local schools and community groups.

Michael Crow

Crow has served as the President of Arizona State University since 2002. He has become nationally known for his commitment to innovation and to reinventing the research university model to emphasize access and excellence. In his inaugural speech, President Crow described a “New American University” measured, in large part, “not by who we exclude, but rather by who we include and how they succeed.” This has been the guiding principle of President Crow’s administration, which has:

  • Improved access as measured through new student enrollment: 39 percent of the fall 2013 freshman class were students of color, which represents a 165 percent increase in minority representation in the entering freshman class since 2002. Overall, total minority undergraduate enrollment has increased 137% during the same period.
  • Assumed major responsibility for the economic and cultural well-being of the community with the construction of ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus supported by a $223 million bond issue approved by voters in 2006. The new campus, which includes the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, is credited with helping to revitalize the city.
  • Committed ASU to improving K-12 education with the 2010 restructuring of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College to refocus efforts on excellent teacher preparation and on research that contributes directly and fundamentally to improving the practice of K-12 education. Under a program called iTeachAZ, undergraduates spend their entire senior year in residence at a school—far more classroom time than the accreditation requirement—and are working in 31 school districts statewide.

John Hennessy

Since 2000, John Hennessy has served as president of Stanford University, one of the nation’s most prestigious institutions. Though perhaps best known as a center for Silicon Valley innovation, under President Hennessy’s leadership the university has continued to deepen and broaden its commitment to humanistic study, expanded interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty members and students, and developed new centers and partnerships abroad. In addition, President Hennessy has underscored the importance of K-12 education reform, and he has led the university’s commitment to provide access and financial aid for low- and middle-income students. President Hennessy has:

  • Improved access, as seen in the 2011-12 academic year when a little more than half of Stanford’s undergraduates were awarded financial aid averaging about $36,000 each. U.S. students whose family income is below $100,000 pay no tuition and those with income below $60,000 pay neither tuition nor room and board. In 2011-12, three-quarters of the undergraduates graduated debt free.
  • Committed the university to working with surrounding communities in responsible, sustainable, and mutually beneficial ways, such as the Stanford University Medical Center Renewal Project. In 2018, the university will open a new Stanford Hospital & Clinics facility to include an emergency room with almost three times the capacity of the current Stanford Hospital and a total of 600 patient beds.
  • Created The Stanford Challenge, of which one priority is to help reform K-12 education. The K-12 initiative includes two new institutes, the Center for Education Policy Analysis and the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching. Both provide research and tools for educators to improve teaching, student performance, and leadership skills. Under the Stanford Teacher Education Program, student loans are forgiven after four years spent teaching in an underserved area.

Beverly Daniel Tatum

Since being named President of Spelman College in 2002, Beverly Daniel Tatum has shown that, with vision and commitment, access and excellence in higher education do not have to be mutually exclusive. The college is known for admitting and graduating a large percentage of low-income, first generation students. During her tenure, the percent of students qualifying for federal Pell Grants has risen from some 30 percent to over 50 percent, about 87 percent of all students receive some form of financial aid, and scholarship support has tripled. President Tatum, the first African American female college president to receive the award has:

  • Championed women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math); almost a third of Spelman students earn degrees in those fields, defying what President Tatum calls “the low expectations for women and minorities in science.” The National Science Foundation reports that between 1997 and 2006, Spelman prepared more African American women to earn Ph.D.s in STEM than Georgia Tech, Duke, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill combined.
  • Cultivated community service; each year, Spelman students contribute a total of more than 40,000 hours of service to their community through programs such as Project Impact.  Students volunteer within a designated 1.7 mile area surrounding the campus with activities that focus on education, economic development, health, and environmental sustainability in partnership with some 40 community organizations, including 15 schools and education programs.
  • Dropped intercollegiate sports in favor of a focus on student health. Concerned over the fact that an alarming proportion of young black women are prone to having serious health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes, she invested the savings from the elimination of team sports in fitness and intramural programs that emphasize activities that career women are likely to maintain for a lifetime, such as tennis, golf, and yoga. Read Hall, the college’s gymnasium built in the 1950s, is being renovated to serve as a state-of-the-art fitness facility.

About the Academic Leadership Award

The Academic Leadership Award reflects another dimension of Andrew Carnegie’s vision that education is a fundamental element in strengthening the bonds of our society and our democracy. Recipients have been heads of distinguished institutions, small and large, public and private, from both coasts and in between. While each university and its constituents present a distinct set of challenges, what unites these leaders is their firm belief in the value of a high-quality college education for all, and their vigorous outreach to the wider community. They represent some of higher education’s most effective leaders. They have demonstrated true dedication to helping students achieve their aspirations, now and far into the future.

The Corporation solicits nominations from previous winners, as well as from the leaders of national organizations representing higher education. The nominations are carefully reviewed, with particular scrutiny given to a candidate’s long-term record of accomplishment and innovation.

Past winners of the Academic Leadership Award

Henry S. Bienen, Northwestern University

Robert J. Birgeneau, University of California, Berkeley

Leon Botstein, Bard College

Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University

Jared L. Cohon, Carnegie Mellon University

Scott S. Cowen, Tulane University

Matthew Goldstein, The City University of New York

Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania

Freeman A. Hrabowski III, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

William E. Kirwan, University System of Maryland

Eduardo J. Padrón, Miami Dade College

Don M. Randel, University of Chicago

About Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.