Clayton Spencer elected eighth president of Bates

President-elect Clayton Spencer becomes the college’s eighth president on July 1, 2012. Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen.

The Bates College Board of Trustees has elected Clayton Spencer, currently vice president for policy at Harvard University, to become the eighth president of Bates, effective July 1, 2012.

Board Chair Michael W. Bonney ’80 announced the election and introduced Spencer on Sunday afternoon at an standing-room-only gathering in the Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building attended by hundreds of Bates community members.

Spencer is widely regarded as an extraordinarily effective and collaborative higher education leader who has worked with four Harvard presidents to shape key initiatives over the past 15 years. A graduate of Williams College and Yale Law School, prior to Harvard Spencer served at the national level as chief education counsel in the U.S. Senate, working for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

In making the announcement Bonney said, “The Bates Board of Trustees has unanimously and enthusiastically agreed that Clayton Spencer is the best possible choice to lead Bates at this key time in the college’s history. She is a true national leader in higher education, and she understands Bates in a very personal way, endorsing its innovative approach to the academic curriculum and its unpretentious ambition for excellence in all aspects of the liberal arts experience in the 21st century. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome her as our president-elect.”