Notes on the Barnard Presidency


                                               Some Notes on the Barnard Presidency

Terminological prefatory note:

The title “President” first  used to designate  Barnard’s chief administrative officer in July 1, 1952, five years into the term of Barnard’s 5th head, the heretofore “Dean” Millicent Carey McIntosh (1947-1962). The change from “dean” to “president” required the approval  of the Columbia University Board of Trustees and was sought by Barnard trustees at the suggestion of the Ford Foundation to emphasize Barnard’s autonomous relationship with the University and thus its claims for separate consideration for financial support.

To further complicate the story, it was Barnard’s second administrative leader, Emily James Smith (1895-1900), who was the first to be designated dean. The first, Ella Weed (1889-1894), being designated in the College’s first charter as “chair of the academic committee.” Thus Sian Leah Beilock  is Barnard’s  8th president and 12th administrative head.

The 1900 Intercorporate agreement provided for the creation of the office of “Dean of Barnard  College” to be appointed by the Barnard Board of Trustees with the approval of the Columbia University president and its board of trustees. The Barnard dean was to be one of the then ten deans of the University, each with administrative responsibility for one of its ten divisions or schools. She was a member of the University committee of deans, whose weekly meetings all Barnard heads personally attended into the  1970s. President Mattfeld  was the first to send a representative.

The dean’s gender was not specified in the 1900 intercorporate agreement,  despite some effort by the Barnard trustees to reserve to position for a woman.  But all Barnard’s administrative heads to date have been women.

Nor was any religious stipulation attached,  although the Columbia presidency had consistently been held since 1754 by a member of the Episcopal Church, a tradition not broken until Dwight Eisenhower became the University’s 13th president in 1948.  Weed, Smith and Gildersleeve were all at least nominally Episcopalians; Gill was Presbyterian; McIntosh was from a Quaker background;  Rosemary Park and Martha Peterson were Protestants;  Barnard’s three presidents prior to Beilock have been Jewish.

NY Region – DLS (Westchester)
Upstate NY – EW/EJS
New England – LDG (Maine); RP (Mass)
Baltimore – MCM, JAM
Kansas — MAP
NY Region – EVF/DLS
Upstate NY – EW/EJS
New England – LDG (Maine); RP (Mass)
Baltimore – MCM, JAM
Kansas – MAP
California — SLB
Upstate – Poughkeepsie (EW)
New England – Northampton (LDG); Waltham (JRS); Cambridge (RP)
Other NEast – EJS and MCM (Bryn Mawr, Pa.); JAM Baltimore, Md.
Kansa – MAP
California — SLB

Graduate Studies
New England – Cambridge/DLS; New Haven — JAM
Other Northeast – MCM (Baltimore)
Other US  – Chicago – EJS; Lawrence, Kansas —  MAP;  East Lansing, Mich. —  SLB
Cologne, Germany – RP
None – EW/LDG


Marital status
EW, LDG, VCG, RP, MAP and  JRS  all single when heading Barnard
EJS and RP left presidency upon marriage
JAM had been divorced a decade before becoming president
MCM, EVF, DLS and SLB  all married as president, with 5, 2, 3 and 1 children respectively.

Academic credentials
All 12 were college graduates:
Six were graduates of Sister Colleges:
Vassar – EW;  Bryn Mawr – EJS; MCM; Smith – LDG; Barnard – VCG; EVF
Others: Kansas (MAP); Goucher (JAM); Brandeis (JRS); Georgetown (DLS); U California, San Diego (SLB)

10 have held PhDs: Smith (Chicago/Greek); Gildersleeve (CU/English); McIntosh (JHU/English); Park (Cologne/German Lit.); Peterson (Wisconsin/Math Ed.); Mattfeld (Yale/ musicology); Shapiro (CU/Anthropology); Spar (Harvard/Political Science)
Two have not: LD Gill studied in Europe but no PhD; EVF graduated from law school


Prior Occupation
School administrator/teacher – EW/EJS/MCM  (3)
College faculty/administrator – VCG/RP/MAP/JAM/JRS/DLS/SLB (6)
Attorney – EVF
Hospital Administrator — LDG


Ella Weed 1889 1894 5
Emily James Smith 1894 1900 6
Laura Drake Gill 1901 1907 6
Virginia Crocheron Gildersleeve 1911 1946 36
Millicent Cary McIntosh 1947 1962 15
Rosemary Park 1962 1967 5
Martha Peterson 1967 1975 9
Jacquelyn A. Mattfeld 1976 1980 5
Ellen V. Futter 1980 1993 14
Judith R. Shapiro 1994 2008 15
Debora Spar 2008 2017 9


Retirement – VCG/MCM/JRS
Resigned for family reasons – EJS/RP
Resigned for professional reasons – EVF; DLS
Resignations extracted – MAP/JAM
Died — EW









                                                        Barnard Chief Administrators, 1889 – 2017

Ella Weed (1853 –1894)
b. Newburgh, NY
Vassar 1873
Headmistress of Miss Annie Brown’s School, 1882-1894
A Foolish Virgin: A Novel (1883)
Trustee and paid “Chairman of the Academic Committee” 1889- 1894
October 1893 – illness leave
Died, January 1894, age 41
Emily James Smith (1865-1944)
b. Canandaigua, NY, 1865
Bryn Mawr 1889
Girton College, Cambridge, 1889-91
Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, teacher of Greek, 1891-93
University of Chicago, Graduate Fellow, 1893-94
Named Ist Dean of Barnard College, 5/11/1894 (at 29) – 2/1/1900
On leave 2/99 – 9/1899  — Thomas Fiske acting dean
Married publisher George Haven Putnam, April 1899
Resigned February 1, 1900
Later taught part-time at Barnard until death of husband in 1931
Died 1944, age 79


Laura Drake Gill (1860-1926)
b. Chesterville, Maine, 1860
Smith College, 1881
Mathematics teacher, Northampton, Mass, 1882-1898
Red Cross administrator, Spanish American War, 1898-1900
2nd Dean of Barnard College, began  January, 1901, at age 40
Resigned June 1907
later involved in women’s placement services at colleges in the South
Died  1926, age 66

Interim – acting dean and provost, Willian Tenney Brewster, 1907-1911


Virginia C. Gildersleeve (1877-1964)
b. NYC,  1877
Barnard AB 1899
MA Columbia 1900
Teaching English at Barnard, 1901-1905
Columbia graduate student, 1905-08
PhD in English literature, 1908
Instr. and Ass’t Professor of English, Columbia and Barnard, 1909-11
Named 3rd dean of Barnard, February 1911, at 34
On leave in Europe spring 1921
Sabbatical and sick leave, 1930-1932
Retired after 36 years as dean in 1946
Retired to Westchester and then Cape Cod, 1947-1964
Many a Good Crusade (1954)
A Hoard for Winter (1962)
Died 1964, age 87

Millicent Cary McIntosh (1898-2001)
B. Baltimore, Maryland, 1898
Bryn Mawr AB 1921
Johns Hopkins PhD in English, 1924
Bryn Mawr assistant professor and administrator, 1924-1928
Headmistress, The Brearley School, NYC, 1930-1946
Married Dr. Rustin McIntosh, 1931 ; 5 children
Started as Barnard’s 4th dean, 1947, at 49
Title change to president, 1952
Retired, June 1962
“Reminiscences of Millicent Carey McIntosh”: CU oral history, 1966
Retired with husband to Tyringham, Mass.
Died 2001, age 102

Rosemary Park (1907-2004)
b. Andover, Mass., 1907
Radcliffe AB
University Cologne PhD in German Literature, 1929
Professor and administrator, Connecticut College, 1934-1946
President Connecticut College, 1947-1962
Installed as Barnard’s 2nd president, July 1962, at 55
Married 1966
Resigned, effective June 1967
Joined husband at UCLA, where she became an administrator
Died 2004, age 97

Interim, Dean of Faculty, Henry Boorse, July – November 1967


Martha Peterson (1916 – 2006)
b. Outside Jamestown, Kansas, 1916
University of Kansas AB 1937
Academic administrator, U. Kansas and U. Wisconsin
PhD, University of Kansas 1959, educational psychology
Dean of Women, U. Wisconsin
Installed as Barnard’s 3rd president, November, 1967, at 51
Inauguration, April 1968
Resigned May 1975, to become president of Beloit College
President Beloit College, 1975-1981
Died 2006, age 90

Interim, Dean of Faculty and acting president, Leroy Breunig
Jacquelyn Anderson Mattfeld (1925 – )
B. Baltimore, Md., 1925
Goucher College AB
Yale University PhD in musicology
Administrative posts at Radcliffe. MIT and Sarah Lawrence
Brown Provost 1973-75
Selected as Barnard’s 4th president, November 12, 1975, at 50
Installed June 1976
Inauguration, November 1976
Fired/Resigned  May 29, 1980
Subsequent administrative posts on West Coast
Director C. G. Jung  Center, Evanston, Illinois
Retired, Evanston, Illinois


Ellen V. Futter (1949 -)
B. NYC, 1949; raised on Long Island
University of Wisconsin, 1967-69
Barnard AB, 1971
Columbia Law  J.D., 1974
Associate, Milbank, Tweed, 1974-1980
Acting president, July 10, 1980 (2 months short of 30th birthday)  – April 1981
Installed as Barnard’s 5th president, April 1981, age 31
Resigned effective October, 1993
President, American Museum of Natural History, 1993 –
RMc interview with EVF, June 25, 2015

Interim, Vice president and acting president, Kathryn Rodgers, July 1993-April 1994


Judith R. Shapiro (1942 – )
B. Queens, NYC, 1942
Brandeis College AB, 1963
Columbia University PhD in anthropology, 1969
Assistant professor, U. Chicago, 1969-1973

Sex Roles and Social Structure Among the Yanomami Indians of Northern Brazil (1972)
Professor of Anthropology, Bryn Mawr College, 1973 – 1985
Provost, Bryn Mawr College, 1986-1993
Installed 6th president of Barnard College, June 1994
Retired June 2008
President, Teagle Foundation, 2010 –
RMc interview with JRS, June 22, 2015
Debora L. Spar (1963 -)
B. 1963, Westchester, NY
Georgetown AB
Harvard University PhD in government
Married; 3 children
Harvard Business School professor and administrator
Installed as Barnard’s 7th president, July 2008
Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection (2013)
Resigned, November 2016, effective March 2017 to become president of the Lincoln Center

Interim, Robert Goldberg, COO, March 2017  – June 2017
Sian Leah Beilock (1975 – )
B. 1975, Berkeley, California
University of California, San Diego, BS 1997
Michigan State University, PhD in psychology, 2003
Miami University, Ass’t Prof., 2003-05
University of Chicago, Ass’t Prof., 2005-08;  Asoc. Prof., 2008-12; Professor, 2012- 17
Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives, 2014-2017
Married; 1 daughter
Choke: What the Science of the Brain Reveals about Getting It Right When You Have To (2011)
Installed as Barnard’s 8th president, May 2017
Inauguration scheduled for February 8, 2018

                                                       Presidential Prosopography

12 administrative leaders to date

1 “Chair of Academic Committee” (Weed)
3 deans (Smith/Gill/ Gildersleeve)
1 dean & president (McIntosh)
7 other presidents (Park/Peterson/Mattfeld/Futter/Shapiro/Spar/Beilock)

3 in NYC (Gildersleeve/Futter/Shapiro)
3 other New York (Weed/Smith/Spar)
2 New Englanders (Gill/Park)
2 Baltimore (McIntosh/Mattfeld)
1 Kansas (Peterson)
1 California (Beilock)

2 Barnard ABs (Gildersleeve/Futter
5 Sisters (Weed/Gill/Smith/McIntosh/Park)
1 Brandeis (Shapiro)
1 Goucher (Masttfeld)
1 Georgetown (Spar)
1 Kansas (Peterson)
1 UCal/San Diego (Beilock)

Graduate Training
3 Columbia (Gildersleeve/Futter/Shapiro)
1 Yale (Mattfeld)
1 U. Kansas (Peterson)
1 Michigan State (Beilock)
1 University Cologne (Park)
1 U. Chicago (Smith)
1 Johns Hopkins (McIntosh)
1 Harvard (Spar)
1 Germany (Gill)
1 None (Weed)
Prior Occupations
6 in  academic administration (Park/Peterson/Mattfeld/Shapiro/Spar/Beilock)
5 earlier college instructors (Gildersleeve/McIntosh/Shapiro/Spar/Beilock)
2 school administrators (Weed/McIntosh)
4 earlier school teachers (Weed/Smith/Gill/Peterson)
1 attorney (Futter)
1 hospital administrator (Gill)


Age at Start
Average  age – 43
Youngest – Futter  (29)
Oldest  — Park (55)

Age at End
Average age – 54
Youngest – Smith (34)
Oldest – Gildersleeve (70)

Average – 11 years
Shortest – 5 years (Weed/Smith/Park/Mattfeld)
Longest – 36 years (Gildersleeve)

Reasons for Leaving
Death – 1 (Weed)
Retired —  3  (Gildersleeve/McIntosh/Shapiro)
Resigned following marriage – 2 (Smith/Park)
Resigned to take another position – 3 (Peterson/ Futter/Spar)
Resigned – 2  (Gill/Mattfeld)

Last updated: November 7, 2017
[email protected]