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(Boston, Mass.) — Daniel S. Goldin, former administrator of NASA, has accepted Boston University’s offer to become its ninth president. Goldin will take office at the nation’s fourth-largest independent university on Nov. 1.
“I am both humbled and exhilarated by the opportunity to lead Boston University as its new president,” Goldin said. “I have a great deal to learn as I chart our future course, and I am counting on the help and support of the entire university community to help me guide Boston University to the next level of excellence.
“My ultimate goal is to develop a shared vision for the university that will take all of us to new levels of knowledge and accomplishment through the power of education.”
Christopher Barreca, chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, hailed Goldin’s abilities as a leader. “The trustees are pleased that Dan Goldin has accepted our offer to become Boston University’s next president. His leadership qualities are outstanding, and his vision, imagination and dedication are just what the university needs to take it to new heights. His knowledge of government and the private sector coupled with his lifelong devotion to education create an unsurpassed mix of experience that will serve the university well in the years ahead.”
Goldin will take over the helm of the university from John Silber, who became president in 1971 and has served as chancellor since 1996. Silber will become president emeritus when Goldin assumes office. “Not for a moment,” said Goldin, “will I forget the achievements of those who have gone before me, especially Chancellor John Silber whose dedication of more than 30 years has raised Boston University to the threshold of greatness that I am privileged to advance.”
Of the appointment of Dan Goldin, Silber remarked, “I am honored to be succeeded by a great man whose accomplishments in private and public institutions and in service to the nation position him by ability and experience to advance Boston University to unprecedented heights.”
About Daniel S. Goldin
Dan Goldin served as administrator of NASA longer than anyone else — from April 1992 to November 2001 — under three presidents, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. His tenure was marked by innovation, expanded exploration, sound management and numerous awards. National Journal named him one of the 100 most influential people in government, noting, “most space watchers say that Goldin is a brilliant visionary who brought NASA back from the brink of a black hole.” The New York Times reported that space analysts attribute the new era of revitalization at NASA “to the influence of Dan Goldin.” And Aviation Week & Space Technology presented him the Laurel Award for outstanding achievement in aviation and aerospace, saying he “delivered on his promise to reshape NASA into a model government agency.”
At NASA, Goldin initiated the Origins Program to study how life on Earth began and to explore whether it exists elsewhere. He challenged planners to search for Earth-like planets within 100 light-years of our planet. He was also a vigorous proponent for increased exploration of Mars, establishing a series of robotic missions to explore the planet using planetary rovers and penetrators to determine if life and water may have existed on Mars. These expeditions will instruct development of future human missions to Mars that Goldin believes could occur within the next two decades.
Goldin is a native New Yorker who grew up in the South Bronx and graduated in 1962 from the City College of New York. He began his career at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, where he worked on electric propulsion for human interplanetary travel. He then moved to TRW, becoming vice president and general manager of the company’s world-renowned Space and Technology Group in Redondo Beach, Calif. During a 25-year career at TRW, Goldin led projects for America’s defense and conceptualized and managed production of advanced communications spacecraft, space technologies, and scientific instruments.
While at TRW, and later as NASA administrator, Goldin received the Meritorious Award from the National Association of Small and Disadvantaged Businesses for his work reaching out to minorities. He was the first person to win this award twice.
He is currently a senior fellow at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego. He is a member of the board of directors for Lucent Technologies and the CDW Corporation. He is president and founder of the Goldin Group, a high technology consulting firm, and serves on the board of trustees for the National Geographic Society. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Competitiveness in Washington, D.C. He is also the leader of a study group at the Council on Foreign Relations on the weaponization of space.
He has been awarded 17 honorary doctorates from some of the world’s leading universities and is a member of the National Academy of Engineers.
Goldin and his wife Judy have two daughters, Ariel and Laura, and two grandchildren.
About Boston University
Boston University, the fourth-largest independent institution of higher learning in the United States, has undergone an unparalleled transformation over the past three decades. While the number of students has increased over that time only slightly, the number of faculty has increased significantly, which is reflected in the dramatic growth in programs and in sponsored research, from $14.1 million in 1971 to $337.2 million in 2003. Campus facilities for classrooms, laboratories, research space, and student residences have more than doubled in square footage, and the financial strength of the University is robust.
There are more than 29,000 students enrolled at the University, which has a faculty of some 3,500 teachers, researchers and scholars. There are 17 schools and colleges in the University, which remains committed to the liberal arts and sciences.