(LA Times) Princeton's first woman president to step down
Princeton University’s first woman president, Shirley Tilghman, announced Saturday that she plans to step down at the end of the school year in June.
After an 11-year run, Tilghman, 66, informed the university’s Board of Trustees on Friday before taking the announcement public in an emailed message to students, faculty and alumni on Saturday. She wrote that “there is a natural rhythm to university presidencies” and that hers was drawing to an end.
“I intend to take a year’s leave, and return to the faculty and to my other passion — teaching — in the years to come,” she wrote.
The plaudits soon rolled in. “Shirley Tilghman has provided exceptional leadership for Princeton over these past 11 years,” Kathryn A. Hall, chair of the Board of Trustees and expected leader of the search for the next president, said in a prepared statement.
“An amazing amount of what's good about Princeton today is due to Shirley Tilghman,” tweeted Zachary Woolfe, a writer and music critic.
Tilghman, a biology professor for the school before her unexpected nomination to the presidency in 2001, presided over a significant expansion of the university’s financial aid progrm for the student body, which increased during her tenure. She also guided an overhaul of Princeton's residential college system.
She had continued to teach throughout her term, which draws to an end after the recent completion of a $1.88-billion fundraising project.