Kathleen McCartney, the current dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has been selected to be the new Smith College president. McCartney will succeed Carol T. Christ, who was at the helm of Smith since 2002. McCartney has been at the helm of the Harvard Graduate School of Education since assuming the role of acting dean in July 2005. The developmental psychologist whose research spans parenting, child education, and poverty, she was also the co-editor of the “Handbook of Early Child Development.”
A summa cum laude graduate of Tufts University with a M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University, McCartney is a former assistant professor at Harvard. She is also the former director of the Child Study & Development Center at the University of New Hampshire, where she served on the faculty after working at Harvard. Like many college president appointees, McCartney’s background is that of an academic through and through.
McCartney becomes the eleventh president in the history of the all-female liberal arts college in Northampton, Massachusetts. Smith, the alma mater of such accomplished women as Julia Child, Sylvia Plath, Nancy Reagan, and Betty Friedan among many others, is the largest of the Seven Sister schools, chartered in 1871 by a bequest from Sophia Smith. If you’re a Smith alumna, student, or faculty member, what do you think of Smith’s choice for their new president? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below!
While you’re here, read about the new president of Dartmouth College.