Edward Burger, the Francis Christopher Oakley Third Century professor of mathematics at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., was selected Feb. 18 by the Southwestern University board of trustees to serve as the 15th president of the liberal arts college.
President Jake Schrum announced in the fall that he would retire July 1, at which time Burger will take over leadership of the university.
“Ed is the quintessential teacher-scholar with sterling academic credentials who publishes widely but who also focuses on undergraduate education,” said Dr. Elaine Craddock, a faculty member who served on the search committee, in a news release. “He understands Southwestern’s vibrant interdisciplinary curriculum and how to nurture deeper creativity and innovation.”
Burger spent two years at Baylor University where he served as the Robert Foster Cherry Professor for Great Teaching for a year and was asked to stay at the university as vice provost for strategic educational initiatives.
“Ed brings his national stature, acclaim and recognition to Southwestern,” Baylor University President Ken Starr said in a Southwestern University news release. “I always felt that I was a better person after meeting with him, a little smarter than I was before.”
Burger said he was humbled by the invitation to serve as president and that he looked forward to becoming a member of the Southwestern and Georgetown communities.
“One of the attractions for me personally about this community is that I see so much creativity and so much energy and a willingness to look at anything and say, 'Can we make it better? Can we make education more thought-provoking, even more exciting, even more meaningful?'” Burger said in an open forum during his campus visit.