Campus News

Chabotar Named President of Guilford College

Story posted April 08, 2002

Story courtesy of Guilford College

The Board of Trustees of Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., has appointed Kent John Chabotar, Bowdoin's outgoing vice president for finance and administration and treasurer, as the college's eighth president effective July 1. He will also join the Guilford faculty as a professor of political science.

Chabotar, 55, has been at Bowdoin since 1991. A distinguished higher education administrator, faculty member and scholar, Chabotar's career has blended teaching, research and administrative service in higher education as well as in nonprofits and business since 1972.

The New York City native will succeed Don McNemar, who will conclude his service as Guilford president June 30 after six years in the position.

The Board selected Chabotar after an extensive search involving 60 applicants. He was one of two finalists given on-campus interviews the week of March 18.

"It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Kent Chabotar as the eighth president of Guilford College," said Bruce Stewart, chair of the Board of Trustees. "I have known five of the eight presidents in the college's history, and I believe Kent will be exemplary in his service and leadership. He comes from one of the nation's truly distinguished liberal arts colleges, and it is my belief that he will very soon place Guilford fully in that category."

Stewart added: "Kent has a national reputation as a financial manager and as an academic administrator, not only through his work at Bowdoin, but also through his teaching at Harvard and Berkeley. Furthermore, he is a man of faith and a person deeply committed to Quaker values and testimonies. It is a pleasure to welcome Kent to Guilford, Greensboro and the wider North Carolina community. His able leadership will serve the college, region and state with profound distinction."

Chabotar has been the chief financial officer at Bowdoin, one of the nation's leading liberal arts colleges. He has been responsible for a $97 million operating budget and supervised 350 employees. The college enrolled 1,550 students this academic year.

With then-President Robert H. Edwards, he coordinated a three-year, widely participative effort to close a $3 million budget deficit at the college by the 1993-94 fiscal year and received an American Productivity and Quality Center Award for Recognition of Innovative Performance in Institutional Budgeting in 1996. Under Chabotar's leadership, Bowdoin ended the 2000-01 fiscal year with its eighth consecutive balanced budget.

While maintaining his full-time administrative role at Bowdoin, Chabotar has taught an undergraduate course on public policy and administration each spring since 1993. Serving as an adviser to student government, he regularly moderates their annual retreats to set priorities and develop effective teamwork.

Beyond Bowdoin, he has been a member of the faculty of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education since 1983, teaching a variety of summer executive programs, including the Institute for Educational Management and Seminar for New Presidents. In addition, Chabotar has taught at the Getty Leadership Institute on Museum Management at the University of California at Berkeley since 1987. He has written many books and articles and papers on finance and management as well as management cases used in teaching at Harvard University.

Chabotar was a lecturer in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard from 1982-91. He taught financial management, accounting and human resources courses in the graduate school and in the Harvard Extension School. He was educational chair of Harvard's Management Development Program for five years. He also advised doctoral students and chaired the master's and doctoral admissions committees at the Graduate School of Education. Chabotar received the Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award in 1988.

While at Harvard, Chabotar also served as vice president and treasurer of the Education Development Center, Inc., of Newton, Mass., a worldwide nonprofit educational research firm, from 1986-89. During the period of 1984-86, he was chief financial officer for The Williamson Group of Cambridge, Mass., a start-up computer services company with clientele that included schools, museums, hospitals and other nonprofits.

Chabotar was an associate professor of management and one of eight charter faculty of the College of Professional Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, where he worked from 1975-82. He participated in the development of an entire undergraduate curriculum and served two terms as elected chair of the Faculty Senate. He was also a project director based at Abt Associates, Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., from 1976-84, working with cost accounting and program evaluation primarily in education and criminal justice.

Chabotar's higher education career began in 1972 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., where he was an assistant professor of political science for three years. He was coordinator of public administration programs from 1973-75. He was voted the Distinguished Educator Award for teaching excellence by the Class of 1973.

Chabotar graduated magna cum laude from Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa., in 1968 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. He served two terms as student government president at Saint Francis and was voted the outstanding male graduate in the Class of 1968 by the faculty and students. He earned his master of public administration degree with distinction and doctor of philosophy degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University in 1969 and 1973, respectively.

Guilford is the nation's third-oldest co-educational institution of higher education. Founded in 1837 by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the college enrolled 1,490 students this academic year. Guilford has gained distinction for its broad liberal arts curriculum, values-based education and commitment to service.

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