December 11, 2008
Contact: Stephen H. Balch, President
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRINCETON, NJ—After nearly twenty-two years of service as its president, Stephen Balch, founder of the National Association of Scholars, will be leaving that position at the end of the year. He will continue to play a major leadership role as the chairman of the NAS board of directors and as director of special projects.
On December 6, the NAS board of directors voted unanimously to elect Peter Wood, now executive director, to become the new president. Dr. Wood formerly served as the provost of The King’s College, and as the associate provost and the president’s chief of staff at Boston University, where he was a tenured faculty member in the anthropology department. He is the author of two books, Diversity: The Invention of a Concept and A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now.
It was Dr. Balch’s founding vision that the National Association of Scholars be a voice of reason in an increasingly unreasonable academic world. Since establishing the NAS in 1987, he has worked ceaselessly to fulfill that vision, helping launch five other higher education reform organizations, promoting the creation of numerous academic centers, institutes, and programs, and filling the pages of many publications with thoughtful essays about improving higher education. Last year, President Bush bestowed upon Dr. Balch the National Humanities Medal, honoring his “leadership and advocacy upholding the noblest traditions in higher education,” and recognizing that “his work on behalf of reasoned scholarship in a free society has made him a leading champion of excellence and reform at our nation's universities.”
At its December 6 meeting, the NAS board passed a unanimous resolution expressing their “deepest gratitude to Dr. Balch for the enormous contribution he has made to the defense and reform of American Higher Education over the past quarter century,” thanking him “for his vision, personal sacrifice, and his leadership as President,” and looking forward “to his continuing role as chairman of the NAS board of directors.”
The National Association of Scholars is America’s foremost higher education reform group. Located in Princeton, NJ, it has forty-six state affiliates and more than four thousand professors, graduate students, administrators, and trustees as members.