The has announced the recipients of its 2015 Academic Leadership Awards.
Established in 2005, the award honors leaders of American universities who, in addition to fulfilling their administrative and managerial roles with dedication and creativity, have demonstrated vision and commitment to excellence and equity in undergraduate education. This year's recipients are: Ronald J. Daniels, president of ; Patricia A. McGuire, president of ; Diana Natalicio, president of the ; and C.L. Max Nikias, president of the . The honorees' respective institutions will each receive $500,000 to be used at the discretion of the honoree to further his or her academic priorities.
Given biannually, the award recognizes educators' commitment to the liberal arts, excellence and access, curricular innovation, the development of major interdisciplinary programs, K-12 education reform, international engagement, and the promotion of strong links between their institutions and their local communities. Among other accomplishments, Daniels increased undergraduate grant aid by nearly 40 percent and nearly doubled the share of minorities in the entering class; McGuire added the Schools of Education, Professional Studies, Business and Graduate Studies, and Nursing and Health Professions; Natalicio created a model for better recruiting and preparing Latino students for college; and Nikias led a fundraising campaign that has enabled USC to provide more financial aid.
"The United States is blessed with thousands of universities and colleges that enrich our society and our democracy and prepare the next generation of specialists, leaders, and citizens," said CCNY president Vartan Gregorian. "This award recognizes some exemplary leaders of those institutions, who embody the best qualities of leadership — not merely managerial skills, but institutional vision and an abiding commitment to high quality, diversity, curricular innovation, and investment in their communities."