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Release date: Sept. 21, 2000
Contact: Jan Gleason, Assistant Vice President, 404-727-0639, or


Emory University has appointed John Ford, Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students and Professor at Cornell University, as its new vice president and dean of campus life, pending expected trustee approval.

His appointment will begin Jan. 3, 2001, but he will be at Emory quite often for two-or three-day periods between now and then. Ford succeeds former Vice President for Campus Life Frances Lucas-Tauchar, who left Emory in June to become president of Millsaps College.

"I am delighted and excited that a person of John Ford's stature and achievement has decided to join the administration at Emory," says President Bill Chace. "He brings strong experience in both scholarly life and student life; he understands the many ways to reconcile the domains of curricular and extra-curricular life; he has wisdom and he has imagination. I am very grateful for the excellent work of the search committee and its superb leader, Marshall Duke; that committee worked hard and its results will enhance the University. I look forward to many years of working with John Ford."

"The search process itself from the beginning, in conversations with the council of deans, faculty and campus life staff, began to enact what we hope John Ford will help us accomplish at Emory--a further enhancement of the integration of academic and community life at Emory," says Provost Rebecca Chopp. "He is an outstanding individual with wonderful credentials who has accomplished this job already. Everyone we talked to was tremendously impressed with his intellect, his ideas and his wisdom. We are very fortunate to attract him to Emory."

"With John Ford as our new vice president of campus life, we’re looking at a redirection of the university," says Marshall Duke, Candler Professor of Psychology, who chaired the search committee. "He looks at campus life as being more than for the College. I believe he will affect every component of the campus."

"He brings the view that everyone at a university shares the same task--that of education," says Duke. "I expect that over time, he will integrate all the things that students experience. The campus life staff will be more involved in traditional faculty activities and the faculty will be more involved in traditional campus life activities."

Duke said that all of the candidates were absolutely wonderful and the search committee was fortunate to have such a strong group. "But we’re especially fortunate to have John Ford come to Emory."

"Members of the undergraduate community with whom he met were very receptive to his qualifications, his vision and how he will handle the future of campus life," says search committee member Anna Manaso, College junior and vice president of Student Government Association. "He seemed to be the best blend of both academic and campus life experiences."

As dean of students at Cornell, Ford has been responsible for new student programs and peer support, student activities, and fraternity and sorority affairs, and for oversight of the student union and university ministries. In 1992, he became the first faculty member at Cornell to be appointed dean of students. He was reappointed to a second five-year term as dean in 1997.

Since 1992, Ford has been professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell and taught both graduate and undergraduate courses. In addition to his numerous articles and forthcoming book, Case Studies in Health Care Access, Ford’s research skills have earned him a Robert Wood Johnson Faculty Fellowship in Health Care Finance at Johns Hopkins University. From 1991-92, he was acting director of the Sloan Program in Health Administration in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology. He was selected as a 1998-99 American Council on Education Fellow and spent his time as a fellow at the University of Chicago. The broad themes of Ford’s fellowship were to explore "improving teaching and learning; ensuring access, diversity and success for all students; improving quality with diminishing resources; and using technology as a lever for change."

Ford received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology from Boston University and earned three graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in social work and sociology in 1976, at the University of Michigan. He joined Cornell in 1974 as a lecturer in policy analysis and management; in 1984 he was promoted to associate professor, and from 1986-88 he served as a faculty member-in-residence. In 1992 was promoted to professor.

Ford's teaching and research have concentrated on the organization and delivery of health care in the United States and other countries.

He is married to Hilary Ford, who is the assistant dean and director of graduate school admissions at Cornell. They have three children, ages 27, 25 and 22.

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