Washington and Lee names new president
Washington and Lee University announced Friday it has named William C. “Will” Dudley as its next president, effective Jan. 1, 2017. He will succeed Kenneth P. Ruscio, who will retire Dec. 31.
Dudley is provost and a philosophy professor at Williams College, a private liberal-arts college in Williamstown, Mass., which has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,000 students. Lexington-based Washington and Lee, also a private liberal-arts institution, enrolled 1,858 undergraduate students last fall.
Dudley has been Williams’ provost since 2011. In that role, he supervises the directors of admission, financial aid and institutional research, among others. He has helped align the college’s fundraising, including establishing priorities for Teach It Forward: The Campaign for Williams, which was launched in October with a goal of raising $650 million.
Born in Charlottesville and raised in Arlington, Dudley received his undergraduate degree in mathematics and philosophy from Williams in 1989. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in philosophy from Northwestern University.
He joined the Williams faculty in 1998. His area of expertise is German idealism, from Kant to Hegel. He is the author of two books, “Understanding German Idealism” and “Hegel, Nietszsche and Philosophy: Thinking Freedom”
Dudley serves as a trustee and vice-chair of the board at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, the public liberal-arts college for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a campus of the Massachusetts university system. He received a gubernatorial appointment to that board in 2010 and became the vice chair last year. He also served as president of the Williamstown Community Chest from 2007 to 2009 and served on the board of that nonprofit for six years.