It is a great pleasure to welcome my colleague Mark Burstein into the ranks of university and college presidents, and to congratulate Lawrence University on a wonderful choice. Mark has been a stellar leader as Executive Vice President at Princeton for the past 8 years. He combines a deep commitment to the liberal arts, forged during his undergraduate education at Vassar College, with extensive experience as a senior administrator at Columbia and Princeton. There is no aspect of university life that has not benefited from his stewardship: from architecture to sustainability; from the creative and performing arts to student dining; from rugby fields to parking! He will be greatly missed at Princeton.
Shirley Tilghman, President of Princeton University and Professor of Molecular Biology
Lawrence University chose brilliantly when it selected Mark Burstein as its next president. Mark will bring to Lawrence both a heartfelt appreciation for the values of residential liberal arts education and a masterful understanding of what it takes to run a first-rate institution. That rare combination has made him a respected national leader in higher education and a spectacularly successful Executive Vice President for Princeton. He has contributed lasting and widely appreciated improvements to this University's residential life, its physical campus, and its workplace environment. I am confident that Lawrence will flourish with his leadership.
Christopher Eisgruber, Princeton Provost and Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values
We at Vassar are very proud of our alumnus and trustee Mark Burstein as he accepts the leadership of Lawrence University. Mark has an extraordinary grasp of the breadth of issues facing higher education institutions today and at the same time has a gift for understanding the detailed intricacies of specific complex challenges. He is a warm and generous human being who brings great care and thoughtfulness to his work and his life. I know the members of the Lawrence community will benefit from and enjoy his intellect, energy, passion, and humor just as we at Vassar have. Congratulations, Mark.
Catharine Hill, President and Professor of Economics, Vassar College
I’m delighted to learn that Mark Burstein will be the next president of Lawrence University. I worked closely with Mark for three years at Princeton University and benefitted enormously from his leadership and vision. He has a passion for liberal arts education. He also has an extraordinary ability to work with faculty, staff, students, alumni and board members to move an institution forward. From what I know of Lawrence University Mark seems like the perfect fit. I wish him and Lawrence the very best for the future.
Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College
Mark Burstein is simply terrific! He is wise and insightful, calm and sensible, bold and imaginative. He is a careful analyst, a visionary strategist, and an inspiring leader. He personifies integrity and high standards, energy and stamina, elegance and grace. He is the best kind of institutional citizen – fully informed, deeply engaged in shared governance, able to function effectively both at the high level of vision and strategy and the day to day level of detail and implementation. He speaks the language of the liberal arts and cares intensely about the values of a liberal arts institution. Congratulations to Lawrence on an inspired choice!
Nancy Weiss Malkiel Dean of the College, 1987-2011 Professor of History Princeton University
Mark Burstein is ideally suited to become the next president of Lawrence. He has the vision, intellect and experience to be an outstanding leader, and has already demonstrated his ability to work with extraordinary effectiveness at a major university. Equally important, he has a deep commitment to the values of a residential liberal arts education, and is himself a person who embodies those values. He will bring to Lawrence a rare combination of integrity, intellectual capacity, energy, and commitment.
Neil Rudenstine, former president of Harvard University, board member and Provost of Princeton
Mark Burstein is an important member of the Vassar College Board of Trustees, bringing to the Board’s deliberations his wide and deep understanding of and dedication to the finest in liberal arts education. He is also a close personal friend. Among other things, Mark has been truly instrumental in helping Vassar’s trustees, administration, faculty and students navigate the thorny and difficult task of revising the College’s shared governance. I am confident Mark will be a wonderful and successful president of Lawrence University, and I congratulate Mark and Lawrence University on finding each other.
William Plapinger, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Vassar College, Partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
I have had the pleasure of working with Mark Burstein for over eight years and in a variety of capacities, and have come to know him well as a colleague and a friend. Mark has a profound understanding of the broad higher education landscape, and he has a deep appreciation for the value of a liberal arts education. Mark has a collaborative and transparent leadership style, and he has great skill in creating a shared vision among students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader community. Lawrence University has made an outstanding selection in Mark as its next president.
Sanjeev Kulkarni, Professor, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Director of the Keller Center, Princeton University
I am thrilled for Mark and for Lawrence. He is a superb administrator and inspired leader, particularly so in times of challenge and change – the current state of the 21st century liberal arts university. He will be thoughtful about important trends impacting higher education. Mark has been a great collaborator and mentor on issues related to equity, access and inclusion. He champions the view that universities achieve excellence by not only identifying talent from a wide variety of backgrounds, but by leveraging that talent in service to the institutions educational mission. On a final note, what I appreciate most about Mark is his integrity. At the heart of every decision he makes is his belief that this is the right thing to do.
Terri Harris Reed, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, George Washington University
I was initially intrigued by Mark Burstein’s collaborative administrative work at elite institutions like Columbia and Princeton. His experience as a student, and later a trustee, at Vassar College makes him a strong advocate for liberal arts and the education we offer at Lawrence. Interviews revealed him to be a creative problem-solver, with a clear vision of the critical issues facing colleges in the current economic and educational climate. What most impressed me were his genuine warmth and openness. I believe he will be a remarkably effective president; I look forward to working with him in the coming years.
Terry L. Gottfried, Professor of Psychology at Lawrence University, Member of the Presidential Search Committee
Amos Lawrence referred to the university as ‘a great and good work.’ The president of Lawrence does not just lead an institution, but joins together with the broader community in advancing a cause — the cause of educational opportunity, of teaching and learning, of civic and cultural enlightenment. Mr. Burstein is a nationally renown leader in campus planning and higher education finance — great assets for this ‘great and good’ university.
Dr. Rolf Wegenke President, Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU)
I think he will be well respected and admired by Lawrence students. The search committee received an extraordinarily strong pool of applicants. Multiple candidates were more than qualified for this position, so the job of the committee was to find the best fit. Mark stood out as a great match to Lawrence in many ways. His experience at both world renown research institutions and smaller liberal arts colleges give him a refined understanding of how to lead a university like Lawrence in the 21st century. He knows Lawrence and deeply appreciates our core values and culture. We also gladly received high evaluations of his candidacy from all constituencies after they met Mark during his campus visit.
Chiao Yu Tuan '14, Student Member of the Presidential Search Committee
Talking with Mark Burstein was a revelatory experience. His thoughtful and well-informed analysis, approachable manner, and clear passion for liberal arts teaching and learning erased any hesitations about his non-traditional background for a college president. My favorite moment was hearing Mark reflect on how his trustee service at Vassar has transformed his understanding of what it takes for a liberal arts college to be successful. By the end of the interview, I was convinced he is a top-flight choice for Lawrence. I believe Mark will partner effectively with campus, alumni, and community to secure a bright future for this college we love.
Jenna Stone '00, Director of Corporate, Foundation and Sponsored Research Support at Lawrence University