Emory Report

February 14, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 21

Lucas-Tauchar announces departure

By Michael Terrazas

Frances Lucas-Tauchar, senior vice president and dean of Campus Life since 1992, will leave Emory in July to become the 10th president of Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. She will be Millsaps' first female president in its 110-year history.

Lucas-Tauchar, who had been among several finalists for the position, was ann-ounced as the new Millsaps president at a press conference in Jackson on Feb. 4. She will remain at Emory through the academic year and begin her Millsaps presidency on July 1.

"To be a college president has been one of my lifelong professional dreams," said Lucas-Tauchar, a native Mississippian and alumna of Mississippi State University in Starkville. "Needless to say, I'm thrilled for this new opportunity. However I'm deeply saddened to leave Emory and Atlanta, where I've never felt a better fit.

"Emory is a magnificent community of friends and scholars where I have thrived and been exceptionally happy. The coming months will be most difficult for me as I prepare to leave some of the brightest, kindest and most impressive people in the world."

During her tenure, Lucas-Tauchar presided over a number of accomplishments in Campus Life, including the Phoenix Plan to reform Emory's Greek system, and the impending renovation of University Apartments. She also helped strengthen the University's athletics program and put together a staff that was "the envy of the nation," according to President Bill Chace.

"Frances has been an extraordinary presence on campus, and we all deeply regret her leaving us, while at the same time we rejoice in her appointment at Millsaps," Chace said.

"President Chace has been a wonderful support through this process and has done all he can to keep me here at Emory," Lucas-Tauchar said. "He almost succeeded, but the call of home, family and opportunity were too much to pass up at this time in my life. President Chace will be one of the people I will miss the most on a daily basis, though I don't doubt that he will be by my side on many future occasions continuing to teach and mentor me in my new role as president."

Millsaps is a private liberal arts college of about 1,400 students and, like Emory, is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, which founded the school in 1890. Its current president, George Harmon, announced last spring that he would step down on June 30 of this year. Lucas-Tauchar's appointment completes an eight-month-long search.

"Frances possesses virtually all of the skills that the college's search and selection committees were looking for," said Maurice Hall, a Millsaps trustee and chair of the search committee. "When you add the fact that she is a native Mississippian, a lifelong Methodist and a proven senior leader in higher education, we knew we had found a dynamic leader who would move Millsaps beyond our current success."

Provost Rebecca Chopp said Lucas-Tauchar will be a "strong, visionary" leader for her new institution.

"Frances is delightful to work with, as her staff in Campus Life and her colleagues in University administration will tell you," Chopp said.

Chace said he will convene a committee to conduct a nationwide search for Lucas-Tauchar's successor, as well as appoint an interim head of Campus Life after her departure.

"I'm still right here for five more months and will continue to do my best for Emory," Lucas-Tauchar said. "The Campus Life colleagues are strong, talented and committed to student development, so I'm certain that all the fine work they are currently doing will continue for years after I'm gone."

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