February 14, 2011
Knox College announced today the selection of the first woman to lead the 174-year-old institution. Teresa L. Amott was elected by the Knox College Board of Trustees at its February 12, 2011 meeting.
She will succeed Roger L. Taylor '63 and become the College's 19th president. Taylor announced in April 2010 his intention to retire by June 30, 2011 -- after ten years as Knox's president.
Dr. Amott currently serves as Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) in Geneva, New York, a position she has held since 2005.
Jan Koran, chair of the Knox College Board of Trustees, announced the decision Monday, February 14, 2011. She said, "The Knox College Board of Trustees was unanimously impressed with Dr. Amott's commitment to the liberal arts and breadth of experience in developing and implementing a long term strategy for HWS." Koran added, "Her enthusiasm and energy for continuing Knox's forward momentum is clear."
During her time at HWS, Amott served as the chief academic officer responsible for leading and securing resources for the academic program. Amott has dedicated her efforts to improvements in academic offerings through faculty recruitment, strategic planning, and active fundraising. During her tenure, she helped design and implement the HWS 2010 strategic plan focusing on expanding the academic program and faculty, increasing faculty diversity, and a $15 million renovation of academic facilities. She also helped to secure substantial funding for faculty development and enhanced student support services.
Photos: Jan Koran, Chair of the Knox College Board of Trustees (above right) introduces President-elect Teresa Amott (above, left) to a standing-room crowd (below, left) of students faculty and staff.
"Dr. Amott's academic credentials are impeccable," Koran noted. "And she brings to Knox deep experience in strengthening an academic program and securing the resources necessary to keep a college campus vibrant and attractive to new generations of students," Koran added.
Amott helped formulate and execute the $200 million Campaign for the Colleges designed to construct a new performing arts center, renovate the student center and athletics facilities, and enhance information technology services.
"Knox presented a deeply compelling opportunity," Amott said. "Knox's historic commitment to access for all students and dedication to that mission, the depth and thoughtfulness of the institution, and the closeness among faculty, staff and students were very attractive to me," she said.
Photo right: President Taylor greets President-elect Amott following her remarks to a campus gathering in the Skylight Room, Seymour Union.
An economist by training, Amott holds a Ph.D. from Boston College and a B.A. from Smith College. She is co-author of Race, Gender, and Work: A Multicultural Economic History of Women in the United States.
Prior to joining Hobart and William Smith, she was Vice Provost of Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. She also has held academic appointments at Bucknell University, Harvard University, University of Massachusetts - Boston and Amherst, and Wellesley College.
Amott expects to become an active member of the Galesburg community. In Geneva, she is active in the Boys & Girls Club, and has been an enthusiastic volunteer in the local community, supporting efforts to advocate for those in need. She is an avid hiker and enjoys the outdoors.
"Western New York and Western Illinois have much in common," she says. "Geneva is smaller, but it is also deeply rooted in agriculture and manufacturing, much like Galesburg." Coincidentally, Geneva, New York, is less than 100 miles from Whitesboro -- where Knox's founder, the Rev. George Washington Gale, first conceived of a college and town on the prairie dedicated to opening doors to education for all.
Amott will begin her duties on July 1, 2011. As is customary, she will reside in Ingersoll House, the traditional home of the Knox College president, with her partner, retired U.S. Army Major Ray Miller.
Photos above, Knox College President-elect Teresa Amott speaks to students, faculty and staff; below, with students in the Hard Knox Cafe, and below right at a faculty-staff reception; at bottom, with President Roger Taylor and Board Chair Jan Koran.