Antioch College names Mark Roosevelt its new president
Mark Roosevelt, superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools system, is the new president of Antioch College, effective January 1, 2011.
"The board voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Roosevelt to the college presidency. He has spent his career as an advocate and an agent of institutional change," said Lee Morgan, chair of the Pro Tem Board of Trustees. "The Board is confident it has selected a strong leader who will guide the College on its road to revival."
"I am honored to become the next president of Antioch College and inspired by its history and the many people who made the College such a remarkable place to learn and work," Roosevelt said. "The Pro Tem Board of Trustees, Matthew Derr, the College staff and the alumni have made extraordinary progress in preparing Antioch College for a successful reopening in the fall of 2011. I am committed to working with this extraordinary group to forge a future that honors that history and also explores innovative new directions for liberal arts education."
Roosevelt succeeds Interim President Matthew A. Derr, who was instrumental in the negotiations for the College's independence and the work to revive the College over the past year. Derr, a 1989 graduate of the College, will continue as its chief executive officer until Roosevelt's arrival.
"The appointment of Mark Roosevelt as the next president of Antioch College is an important moment in the history of the College. I look forward to supporting Mark as he takes on this opportunity," Derr said.
In January, Derr will join the Great Lakes Colleges Association as its first Visiting Fellow. The appointment was made at the recommendation of the 13 presidents of the GLCA member colleges.
Roosevelt holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College. He is a graduate of the Broad Urban Superintendent's Academy, an executive management program designed for educators and professionals from other fields to lead large city school systems. He has taught political science at Brandeis University, where he was also the director of the Gordon Public Policy Center, and currently teaches a course on the intersection of American history and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz Graduate School of Public Policy.
As a Massachusetts state representative, Roosevelt chaired the Education Committee, where he guided passage of the Education Reform Act of 1993, legislation providing the equitable resources and accountability measures necessary for school improvement. Roosevelt was also the lead sponsor of the 1989 Massachusetts Gay Rights Bill. In 1994, Roosevelt was the Democratic nominee for governor of Massachusetts.
As superintendent of the Pittsburgh Schools, he pursued an aggressive reform agenda called "Excellence for All." Four years later, the district has a comprehensive plan to maximize effective teaching that is one of only four such efforts to win support through a highly competitive $40 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is also the founder of The Pittsburgh Promise, an initiative that has already raised $150 million to guarantee as much as $10,000 per year in college scholarship dollars for PPS graduates who earn a GPA of 2.5 or better. The Promise now provides scholarships to over 1800 PPS graduates from the 2008 and 2009 graduating classes.