Page 3 - 2012 Spring Lycoming Mag

Dr. James E. Douthat has served as Lycoming’s
president for 23 years.
Dr. James E. Douthat, the third
longest serving president in Lycoming
College history, plans to retire June 30,
2013.
The announcement was made by
Peter R. Lynn ’69, chair of the Lycoming
College Board of Trustees. Douthat was
named president in 1989 and is in his 23
rd
year at the helm of the College.
President Douthat, without ques-
tion, has been the major driving force
for Lycoming College for nearly a
quarter-century,” said Lynn. “Under his
leadership, Lycoming has undergone a
remarkable transformation, moving from
a fine regional college to being firmly
established as a national liberal arts and
sciences institution. President Douthat
has worked tirelessly to strengthen the
College’s academic and financial founda-
tions. In putting both in place, he not only
orchestrated many positive changes at
Lycoming, but also created new opportu-
nities for the College in the future. With
great admiration, the board of trustees ex-
presses its gratitude to him and his wife,
Emily, for their hard work and long-term
commitment to Lycoming College.”
Lynn also announced that the board is
in the process of formalizing the presi-
dential search to select Douthat’s suc-
cessor. A search committee composed of
trustees, alumni, faculty and students will
be established. That committee will re-
view candidates and recommend finalists
to the trustees. More information about
the search and Douthat’s legacy will be
included in future issues of
Lycoming
Magazine
.      
Early in his years as president,
Douthat and the trustees set two over-
arching goals for the College. The first
was to maintain and strengthen the aca-
demic program, and the second was to in-
crease the endowment to ensure addition-
al, on-going revenues to support student
scholarships and other institutional needs.
Today, Lycoming is consistently ranked
as one of the nation’s best colleges by
U.S. News & World Report
,
Forbes.com
and The Princeton Review. Like many of
the finest colleges in the country, Lycom-
ing elected not to grow in enrollment and
retain its focus on small classes taught
by full-time teaching faculty holding the
highest degrees in their academic fields.
This year, students come from 31 states
and 12 countries. One-third of the current
student body now comes from out-of-
state. Both
U.S. News
and the
Washing-
ton Monthly
recognized the College in
2011
for its unusually high
graduation rate.
Under Douthat’s leader-
ship, the trustees adopted
a new financial model, one
which took time, effort and
discipline to implement.
The successful completion
of three capital campaigns
and the positive impact pro-
duced by the new financial
model caused the endow-
ment to grow from less than
$19 million in 1989 to more
than $160 million today.
Several years ago, Lycom-
ing was placed by Standard
&
Poor’s on its short list of
less than 90 “A” or higher
rated educational institu-
tions, a position it has main-
tained even in the current
economic environment.
During Douthat’s tenure, tens of mil-
lions of dollars have been spent on new
facilities, including the Shangraw Athlet-
ic Complex, Recreation Center, Mary L.
Welch Honors Hall and The Commons,
an apartment-style student residential
complex. Major additions and renova-
tions have also been undertaken, such
as the expansion of the Wertz Student
Center. During the past two decades, the
College moved into the Information Age
as millions were focused on the growth
and operational support of information
technology and its integration throughout
the academic curriculum of the College.
Numerous other educational enhance-
ments were added during Douthat’s presi-
dency. Among them, the Office of the
Assistant Dean for Freshmen to support
the transition to College, the Institute for
Management Studies to create a program-
matic umbrella enhancing the programs
of the business, accounting and econom-
ics departments, and the Visiting Scholars
Program to bring directors, conductors,
writers, ambassadors and others, some
outside of academia, into the College’s
classrooms. The College now has 225
endowed scholarships, making it pos-
sible for hundreds of students to attend
each year. Douthat also worked closely
with various donors to recognize excel-
lent teaching and scholarship through the
creation of nine endowed professorships.
Douthat chaired the boards of the
Association of Independent Colleges
and Universities of Pennsylvania, the
Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the
Middle Atlantic Conference, and the
Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of
Commerce. He also led the Lycoming
County United Way Campaign in 1999.
Additional voluntary service includes
directorships of The Pennsylvania As-
sociation of Colleges and Universities,
The Pennsylvania Educational Telecom-
munications Exchange Network, WVIA
Public Television and Radio, William-
sport Regional Medical Center and its
now-parent body Susquehanna Health,
the Lycoming Foundation for business
development and the National Associa-
tion of Schools, Colleges and Universi-
ties of the United Methodist Church.
In addition, he has served as a member
of the National Advisory Board of The
School of Theology at Claremont (Calif.)
and on the NCAA’s Presidents’Advisory
Group for Division III.
Prior to Lycoming, Douthat was
the executive vice president of Albion
(
Mich.) College, having previously
served as the dean for student life at
Duke University. A native of Petersburg,
Va., he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree
from The College of William & Mary as
well as a Master of Divinity degree and
a doctorate in educational management,
both from Duke. His family includes his
wife, Emily, son, Mark, and daughter and
son-in-law, Anna and Emanuel Stockman.
President Douthat to retire in June 2013
3