Joanne V. Creighton

Professor Emeritus of English; President Emeritus of the College
Higher education; contemporary literature

A teacher, literary scholar, and experienced academic administrator known for her expertise in strategic planning and implementation, Joanne V. Creighton assumed the presidency of Mount Holyoke College on January 1, 1996. The comprehensive and highly consultative planning processes that Creighton has initiated—for 2003 and 2010—reaffirm Mount Holyoke's mission: educating a diverse residential community of women at the highest level of academic excellence and fostering the alliance of liberal arts education with purposeful engagement in the world.

Adopted in 1997, The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2003 was a six-year strategic plan that set ambitious goals in far-reaching areas. Initiatives included new centers for leadership and environmental literacy; enhanced art, music, and science facilities; a kosher/halal dining hall; intensified linkages with the other members of the Five College Consortium; an innovative program in speaking, arguing, and writing; winning athletic teams; and expanded opportunities to use technology in creative ways.

As the Plan for 2010 commences, Creighton notes, "The College is in a much stronger position in 2003 than in 1997. Institutional confidence is high; we are in the final year of a very successful campaign, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of donors, especially alumnae; and we have had four consecutive years of record-breaking numbers of applications."

The author of four books, Creighton has concentrated much of her scholarly work and teaching on William Faulkner, Margaret Drabble, and Joyce Carol Oates. Her books include Joyce Carol Oates: Novels of the Middle Years (1992), William Faulkner's Craft of Revision (1977), Joyce Carol Oates (1979), and Margaret Drabble(1985). She is the author of numerous scholarly articles and reviews, and is a frequent commentator on contemporary literature and issues affecting higher education. While president of Mount Holyoke, she has written reviews of recent books by Joyce Carol Oates and opinion pieces on such subjects as the implications of the Supreme Court's decision in the Virginia Military Institute case and the role of test scores and race in college admissions.

Prior to coming to Mount Holyoke, Creighton served at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, as vice president for academic affairs and provost and professor of English from 1990 to 1994, and as Wesleyan's interim president from 1994 to 1995. Previously, she had been dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where she also served as a professor of English, and a professor of English at Wayne State University.

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