Section: News

Julie Kornfeld announced as Kenyon’s twentieth president

Julie Kornfeld announced as Kenyon’s twentieth president


Julie Kornfeld will become Kenyon’s 20th president on Oct. 1., the College announced in a June news bulletin.

Kornfeld, who is vice provost for academic programs and an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, was appointed to the position by the College’s Board of Trustees in June. She will replace former president Sean Decatur, who announced his departure for the American Museum of Natural History last December. 

“I see this next step as a wonderfully invigorating opportunity to join a special place,” Kornfeld wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I am about to have the honor and privilege of leading Kenyon College, one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges — I am feeling pretty lucky!”

In a pool of several potential candidates, Kornfeld stood out, said Aileen Hefferren ’88 H’12, chair of the College’s presidential search committee. “We wanted somebody who really understood Kenyon and understood its value — and appreciated it and loved it in the way that everybody who’s on the committee does.”

She added that Decatur — who led the College through the most successful decade in its nearly 200-year history — had done “incredible things” for Kenyon, and that Kornfeld will inherit an institution that is already thriving.

Kornfeld previously served as vice dean for education at Mailman and assistant dean for public health at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. She plans on continuing to teach classes at Kenyon, and said that she is excited to jump into life on campus.

She believes that her first job as president is to “listen and learn.”

“I wouldn’t want to presume any priorities for Kenyon before actually stepping into the role and talking to the people who know it best,” Kornfeld said. “I look forward to spending the coming months getting to know Kenyon.”


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