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Alfred Bloom, President of Swarthmore, to Lead NYU Abu Dhabi

September 29, 2008
N-65, 2008-09

Major Appointment, as Leading Liberal Arts Educator Takes Position at Helm of New Campus

New York University announced today the appointment of Alfred H. Bloom, the highly respected president of Swarthmore College, as Vice Chancellor of New York University Abu Dhabi. NYU Abu Dhabi will consist of a highly selective liberal arts college, distinctive graduate programs, and a world center for advanced research and scholarship — all fully integrated with each other and connected to NYU in New York. Together, NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi will form the backbone of a unique Global Network University, with faculty and students from either New York or Abu Dhabi spending “semesters away” at one or more of the numerous study abroad sites NYU maintains on five continents. NYU Abu Dhabi’s first students will arrive in fall 2010.

President Bloom will begin work on the NYU Abu Dhabi project immediately, working with an advance team that has been and will continue to be led by Mariet Westermann, NYU’s Vice Chancellor for Regional Campus Development. While completing his term as Swarthmore’s president, he will serve as a consultant; he will assume full-time leadership of NYU Abu Dhabi no later than August 2009 and will at that point take leadership of all academic and operational matters for the campus.

NYU President John Sexton said, “If one were listing the ideal liberal arts college, one would think immediately of Swarthmore, rightly regarded as one of the top colleges in the U.S. Much of Swarthmore’s recent success flows from the leadership of its president, Al Bloom. He has increased the quality of its academic programs, expanded financial aid, enhanced diversity, and undertaken spectacular building projects, among other achievements. When a leader as accomplished, wise, and discerning as Al Bloom takes on an appointment such as this, it is a powerful ratification of what NYU and its partners are doing in Abu Dhabi.

“With Mariet Westermann in New York and Al Bloom in Abu Dhabi, we have the team to build over these next years the special future we and our partners envision.”

Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi, said: “The success of NYU Abu Dhabi will rely on its ability to find and attract the most talented individuals to run every aspect of the organization. We have been stringent in our search for the right Vice Chancellor, and are very excited to have Al Bloom officially appointed to the post. We look forward to benefiting from his vast skills and experience in the establishment of this significant educational initiative in Abu Dhabi.”

Mr. Bloom said, “I was drawn to this project by what makes it so extraordinary: the opportunity to develop a world class center of learning and intellectual advance from the ground up, and to create an active connection with the Washington Square campus, thereby providing the foundation for a new concept of global university. I was impressed, as well, by the depth of the partnership that exists between Abu Dhabi and NYU, by the shared commitment to an institution of remarkable quality and impact. I see the challenges, but I see even more importantly the prospect of truly advancing the role of education in promoting cooperative pursuit of knowledge, global understanding, and ultimately a world that recognizes and builds on human common ground. This is a critical next step for higher education, and NYU is the university that is positioned to take it.”

Mariet Westermann said, “NYU Abu Dhabi can know no greater good fortune than having Al Bloom as its first CEO, and I would be hard pressed to find a better partner with whom to launch this new university. He is an exceptional educator, administrator, and leader, and a true internationalist; working together, we will create a liberal arts campus that will ultimately take its place among the great education institutions of the world.”

Alfred Bloom has been president of Swarthmore College since 1991. In 1990, he was named executive vice president of Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. In 1986, he was named vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty at Pitzer. He was appointed as an assistant professor of psychology and linguistics at Swarthmore in 1974, and named associate provost in 1985.

He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Princeton University in 1967. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1974. He is the recipient of a Doctorate of Law, honoris causa, from the University of Richmond.

Type: Press Release

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