Alum chosen as Bates president

Last Saturday, Clayton Spencer ’77 was elected the eighth president of Bates by the Bates College Board of Trustees. Spencer, a member of the Williams College Board of Trustees since 2003, has most recently served as vice president for policy at Harvard. She will begin her tenure at Bates on July 1, 2012.

Spencer graduated from the College magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in history and German. A winner of the College’s Carroll A. Wilson Fellowship for study at Oxford, she went on to receive a B.A. in theology from Oxford in 1979. She later received an M.A. in religion from Harvard in 1982 and a law degree from Yale Law School in 1985.

Before assuming her current position at Harvard, Spencer served under late Senator Edward Kennedy as the chief education counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, where she was in charge of the committee’s legislative process and education staff. In 1997, she received a Bicentennial Medal from the College for her work in the field of education policy.

Spencer has been Harvard’s vice president for policy since 2005. In that position, she “develops and implements strategic priorities for the university on behalf of the president; directs policy analysis and oversees Harvard’s Office of Institutional Research [and] oversees administration, budget and staffing for the offices of the president and the provost,” among other roles, according to Bates’s official press release.

“Clayton Spencer has a distinguished career in higher education, and she brought her extraordinary expertise and wonderful energy to the Williams Board of Trustees,” President Falk said. “I have enjoyed tremendously my opportunity to work closely with her.

“She will be a marvelous president of Bates, and we at Williams are very proud of her appointment,” Falk continued.