A Conversation with Leon Botstein
President of Bard College
New Books Network 2021
President Botstein shares insights from his remarkable career which started as the youngest college president in the U.S. at just 23, when he joined the experimental Franconia College in New Hampshire and has continued through 46 years as the visionary leader of Bard College. He describes in detail 4 major innovations he has launched at Bard: 1) the Early College network in 7 cities across the U.S., 2) the Bard Prison Initiative, 3) the Open Society University Network of dual degree liberal arts programs around the world that culminated in a $500 million matching gift from George Soros, and 4) the development of Bard as a leader in music education and performance, including a Conservatory, a Frank Gehry-designed performing arts center, and Orchestra Now, a Master’s program that trains world-class musicians. He describes the differences along with some commonalities between being a top conductor, for the American Symphony, the Jerusalem Symphony and many leading orchestras, and a successful college president.
David Finegold is the president of Chatham University.