University President Richard Levin makes college presidents out of his provosts — just as legendary General Electric ex-CEO Jack Welch made CEOs out of his his proteges, proclaims a story published today by BusinessWeek.
Former Yale provosts Judith Rodin, Susan Hockfield, Alison Richard and Andrew Hamilton, all of whom served under Levin, all left Yale to run their own prestigious institutions: the University of Pennsylvania, MIT, Cambridge and Oxford, respectively.
So what does that mean for current Provost Peter Salovey?
Though “Yale is not an easy place to leave,” Salovey told BusinessWeek, he would consider the right job offer if it came along. “An incredible opportunity that is a perfect fit is one to take seriously.”
And opportunities frequently come Yale administrators’ way: Hockfield said she began receiving job offers from other universities as soon as she became dean of the Graduate School in 1998. Former deputy provost Kim Bottomly (now president of Wellesley College), former Yale College dean Richard Brodhead (now president of Duke) and former School of Forestry dean Jared Cohon (now president of Carnegie Mellon) all made the move, too.
Whether Salovey goes on to lead his own university, or Yale itself, he will likely take with him the lessons he learned from Levin. According to BusinessWeek, Levin’s proteges almost always imitate Yale’s administrative structure by increasing the size of their new institutions’ fundraising operations, hiring in-house lawyers and bringing in investment managers to oversee the endowments.