Barnard College President Sian Leah Beilock has announced she will leave the college at the end of the 2022–2023 academic year to assume the role of President of Dartmouth College.
After five years as President of Barnard College, Sian Beilock made the surprise announcement to students this morning that she will step down from her role at the end of the forthcoming academic year. In her statement, Beilock also revealed that she has accepted an offer to become the first female President of Dartmouth College. The full text of her statement can be found below.
Beilock, an acclaimed cognitive scientist, has served as college president since 2017. Prior to her time at Barnard, she served as Executive Vice Provost and Stella M. Rowley Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago from 2005 to 2017, and earlier as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Miami University from 2003 to 2005. Aside from her role at Barnard, Beilock is perhaps best known for her research on the science of choking under pressure, a topic about which she has published two books—Choke (2011) and How the Body Knows its Mind (2015)—and received numerous awards, including the National Academy of Sciences Troland Research Award in 2017.
During her time at Barnard, Beilock made a goal of uplifting women in STEM fields, most notably through Barnard’s 2021-2022 Year of Science. In a comment to Bwog, President Beilock said she is also proud of the College’s accomplishments in “strengthening our ties across Columbia University” during her tenure, particularly through Barnard’s 4+1 programs, which she called “a great example of the mutual benefits that we can draw from this rare relationship.”
In a statement to to students this morning, Chair of the Barnard College Board of Trustees Cheryl Glicker Milstein (BC ‘82) emphasized a number of Barnard’s accomplishments under Beilock, including significantly expanding the number of annual applicants to the college. According to Glicker Milstein, the number of applicants to Barnard has grown more than 50%, with the college receiving over 12,000 applications for the Class of 2026 under Beilock’s presidency. In her statement, Glicker Milstein also emphasized Beilock’s significant fundraising for the college, which has financed numerous initiatives including expanding financial aid, the LeFrak Foundation Center for Well-Being, and the recently-announced Roy and Diana Vagelos Science Center. Glicker Milstein also highlighted the success of Beyond Barnard under Beilcok, noting that 95% of the Class of 2021 had “successfully [launched] their careers in jobs or in academic programs within six months after graduation.” Regarding Beilock’s upcoming status as the first female president of Dartmouth, Glicker Milstein said the role is “further evidence of Barnard’s preeminence in developing women leaders.” The full text of Glicker Milstein’s statement can be found below.
While Beilock will remain in her role as President of Barnard through the end of the upcoming academic year, Glicker Milstein says the Board of Trustees is already preparing their search for the college’s next president, whom they hope to have selected by the spring. According to a Barnard College spokesperson, the College will share details regarding the search and transition plan with the Barnard community in the coming weeks and months. In a comment to Bwog, Beilock noted, “We still have much to do,” and said she is “committed to building our momentum throughout the next year.”
Email from President Sian Leah Beilock to Barnard students on July 21, 2022 at 7:03 AM:
Dear Members of the Barnard Community,
I joined you a little more than five years ago, filled with optimism about Barnard’s contributions to the world, and with a deep appreciation for all that you and those who preceded us here had already accomplished. Today — with a sharper conviction of Barnard’s import and an even deeper appreciation for all of you — I write to share the news that I will be stepping down in 2023 to take on the presidency of Dartmouth.
Every day you teach me indelible lessons, through the quality of your inquiry, your teaching, your research, and your scholarship. On a more profound level, you have shown me what a community can be and can achieve. Together we’ve faced great losses and uncertainty over the last five years; we’ve celebrated wonderful achievements. Through all of it, your care for one another has shone bright — it really is a secret source of Barnard’s power, as a College, and in each of you as you move through the world outside our gates.
I am grateful that we will have another year together to continue pushing into the future. We still have work to do in welcoming all voices and cultivating the individual and collective well-being that allows us to do our best work. We must continue to build on the momentum generated during the Year of Science — and in highlighting Barnard’s eminence across the arts, humanities and social sciences — in our engagement with the city around us, and in connecting a Barnard education to life beyond graduation. Together with our Trustees and the entire leadership team, I’m committed to a transition that supports all of that and welcomes the next president of Barnard to an institution that has never been stronger or more important in our world.
With that in mind, I hope you are all finding a chance this summer to recharge. I am already looking forward to welcoming the Class of 2026 in the fall. Please know that in our time together, and wherever our lives take us in the years beyond, I will always be a part of the Barnard family, a grateful and proud member of this extraordinary community.
Sian Leah Beilock
Email from Chair of the Board of Trustees Cheryl Glicker Milstein (BC ’82) to students on July 21, 2022 at 7:33 AM:
Dear Members of the Barnard Community,
A short time ago, President Sian Leah Beilock announced that at the end of academic year 2022-2023, she will conclude six years of outstanding leadership at Barnard. While we will accomplish much together between now and then, I write today on behalf of the Board of Trustees to offer Sian our congratulations on her new appointment and to share our early plans for the search for the College’s next President.
As one of the nation’s outstanding liberal arts institutions, with a distinctive mission as a college for women, Barnard continues to reach greater heights under the stewardship of each new President. That growth has been especially remarkable under Sian’s leadership, advancing our core mission and values through a historically challenging time. She has been a champion for the learning, teaching, research, and scholarship at the heart of Barnard’s excellence. Most recently, the Barnard Year of Science has helped support and highlight the College’s growing eminence in STEM fields, complementing our historic strengths in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
During Sian’s tenure, the number of applicants to Barnard has grown by more than 50 percent, topping 12,000 for the Class of 2026, with almost 50 percent identifying as women of color. To support those remarkable students and continue investing in the faculty and staff who are so essential to our mission, Sian has led record fundraising for initiatives such as expanded financial aid, the new Roy and Diana Vagelos Science Center, and the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation Center for Well-Being. Through Beyond Barnard, Sian has helped ensure that students and alumnae achieve their goals and make an impact on the world after graduation, with 95 percent of the Class of 2021 successfully launching their careers in jobs or in academic programs within six months after graduation.
Barnard is truly a singular place. We are proud that one of the nation’s most prestigious institutions has sought Sian as their next President, further evidence of Barnard’s preeminence in developing women leaders. All members of our College community share in Barnard’s extraordinary record of success.
In the weeks to come, we will share news about how all of you can contribute to the search for Barnard’s next President, which we are committed to completing by next spring. Please feel free to share any initial thoughts you have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a very exciting and important year ahead of us. The Board and I look forward to our continued work with Sian and all of the members of the Barnard community as we achieve even higher levels of excellence.
Cheryl Glicker Milstein ’82, P’14
Chair, Barnard College Board of Trustees
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with comments from Sian Beilock and a spokesperson from Barnard College.