Statements

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May 8, 2018

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,

I write with an update on developments related to the leadership of the Colleges and with news from Geneva.

As I conveyed via email in April, Gregory J. Vincent '83 resigned his position as president amid allegations of plagiarism in his 2004 dissertation. Greg explained that his decision to step down was made out of concern for his family and with deep regret that the accusations were a distraction to the work of Hobart and William Smith. I respect Greg's decision and am pleased that his graduate school will allow him to make the necessary corrections to his dissertation. On behalf of his alma mater and with gratitude for his service, I wish Greg and his family well as he moves on to the next phase of his career.

With three weeks left in the semester, I asked Professor Emeritus of Economics Pat McGuire L.H.D. '12 to serve as interim president. With more than 40 years of experience as a faculty member and administrator, Pat joins an experienced senior leadership team and an extremely dedicated and creative faculty. They are working collaboratively right now to secure our next admissions class and to prepare for the summer months of classes and research.

Later this week, I will join Pat as he officiates the 2018 Commencement ceremony featuring a keynote address from John P. Grotzinger '79, Sc.D. '13, the mission leader and project scientist for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory. At the request of our seniors and with deep appreciation for the role that he played in their lives, President Emeritus Mark D. Gearan L.H.D. '17, P'21 will also be on stage to congratulate our seniors.

It will be a privilege to congratulate the Classes of 2018 personally on their many achievements and a powerful reminder of why we all stay engaged with Hobart and William Smith. Our graduating seniors are an accomplished group of scholars, artists and athletes with bright futures. Sophia Melvin, for example, will pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. Ren Workman joins the Fresh Air Fund, while Bryan Huynh and Rotimi Adeoye head to technology careers at IHS Markit and DSPolitical respectively. Bennett Moore will work for Bank of America and Elizabeth Weingast joins numerous alumni and alumnae already at J.P. Morgan. Daniel Magin will travel to Ethiopia with the Peace Corps and Lauren St. Peter will head to Taiwan as the recipient of a Fulbright. Numerous other students will attend graduate, medical and law school, and pursue careers in public policy, education, marketing and finance, among other things. All of this while our student athletes are finalizing their spring seasons with some competing in post-season play.

Against this landscape of success and optimism, we begin a national search for our next president. The Board will commence this search immediately, and I anticipate naming a search committee in the coming weeks with the goal of identifying candidates by the fall. This is a wonderful position for someone committed to higher education and inclusive excellence, and who has the vision and leadership to guide the Colleges into the future. I look forward to sharing more on the process, as well as the ways that alumni and alumnae can be involved. Your voices and your engagement are more important than ever.

Sincerely,

Thomas S. Bozzuto

Thomas S. Bozzuto '68
Chair, Board of Trustees


April 13, 2018

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,

Later today, the Colleges will announce that Gregory Vincent has decided to resign his position effective immediately. He does so in consideration of the best interests of his family and the Colleges, and with deep regret that anonymous accusations were a distraction to his presidency and the work of Hobart and William Smith.

As I stated in past communications to campus, the Board has been working assiduously to protect the reputation, values and academic integrity of the Colleges. Certainly, it had been my hope that we would have the time to show, through a full and fair investigation of the anonymous allegations of plagiarism, that they are without merit. I do, however, understand and respect Greg's position, and appreciate his thoughtful regard for the Colleges. His decision to resign as president means the Board has halted the investigation and turned its attention to the important work now facing the Colleges.

I have asked Professor Emeritus of Economics Pat McGuire L.H.D. '12 to serve as interim president while we conduct a national search for our next president. A longtime HWS faculty member and respected scholar and teacher, Pat has more than 40 years of experience as a professor and administrator, most recently serving as the co-chair of the Culture of Respect initiative and as interim provost and dean of faculty. I am deeply grateful to Pat for assisting the Colleges in such an important way. I will be in touch with details on the presidential search when they are available.

Thank you all for your good will and counsel during this time. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any concerns or questions. I send my best wishes for a successful conclusion to the semester and look forward to seeing many of you at Commencement.

Sincerely,

Thomas S. Bozzuto

Thomas S. Bozzuto '68
Chair, Board of Trustees

April 4, 2018

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,

Last week, I wrote regarding allegations concerning President Vincent's past scholarly work, and to inform you that the Board of Trustees had begun a comprehensive and fair investigation. Since then, I have received questions from many in our community asking for details on the status of our efforts and a timeline. At the heart of these requests for information is serious concern for the academic integrity of the Colleges. I deeply respect that sentiment and, in the spirit of partnership, write today with an update.

First, let me outline the principles that are guiding the Board's efforts: integrity – academic, institutional and personal; courage to examine tough issues in a respectful manner; and a commitment to hold dear our values, and to let our values dictate our actions. We have consulted with the University of Pennsylvania, which is pursuing its own assessment of President Vincent's work, and have contracted with outside reviewers – faculty members with appropriate expertise who are examining the allegations and will provide their advice directly to the Board. We anticipate that this analysis could take approximately two weeks. Please be assured that we are moving as expeditiously as possible as we also ensure that our process is precise and equitable. No one wants to rush to judgment. This is institutionally important for Hobart and William Smith and personally critical to the career and reputation of President Vincent. Our goal is to have the information necessary to make a fully informed and thoughtful decision regarding next steps.

My highest concern, and that of the Board, is the integrity of Hobart and William Smith. You have my assurance that we are doing everything possible to safeguard the values and reputation of the Colleges. We want everyone in our community to be proud of Hobart and William Smith and confident in the process we are undertaking and the decision we will make. My commitment to you is that we will do this well and with the future of the Colleges in mind at all times. The Colleges have thrived for nearly two centuries and I am confident we will weather this as well. I ask for your continued cooperation and partnership, and will be in touch with updates as they become available.

Sincerely,

Thomas S. Bozzuto

Thomas S. Bozzuto '68
Chair, Board of Trustees


March 27, 2018

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,

Late last week, the Colleges received an anonymous email containing allegations regarding President Vincent's past scholarship. President Vincent has informed the Colleges that he believes the charges are without merit. While I remain wary of any accusation that is unsigned, the Board of Trustees is committed to a thorough and serious investigation of these claims. The process to do so - fully and fairly - has already begun. Although we are early in the review, I write this evening because the anonymous email was also sent to the media and stories may be forthcoming.

As you can imagine, I have been in touch with President Vincent regarding this course of action and he concurs that the Colleges' commitment to academic integrity and excellence remains our enduring priority. I will continue to be in touch with further developments as they become available.

Sincerely,

Thomas S. Bozzuto

Thomas S. Bozzuto '68
Chair, Board of Trustees

 

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