, Martin speaks at the Wisconsin Energy Institute groundbreaking in Madison, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, November 24, 2010.
President, Amherst College
August 2011 -
M.A., Middlebury College
B.A., College of William & Mary
Carolyn Arthur "Biddy" Martin (born 1951) is an American intellectual, author, and since 2011 the 19th President of Amherst College, succeeding Anthony Marx.
Before becoming president at Amherst, she was Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she assumed office on September 1, 2008, succeeding John D. Wiley. She was the ninth graduate of UW-Madison to serve as its chancellor, and the first alumna to hold that position. She was the university's second female chancellor, after Donna Shalala, and also the university's first openly gay chancellor.
Before becoming chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she was Provost of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York from July 1, 2000 until August 31, 2008. As provost, Martin served as chief academic officer and chief operating officer, providing leadership for deans of Cornell's 14 colleges and schools, as well as a number of centers and faculty advisory councils. She helped manage the institution's academic programs, executive budgets, capital budgets and operating plans. Martin worked on Cornell's academic faculty for 15 years prior to her appointment as provost.
1 Early life and career,
2 Major initiatives
2.1 Cornell (2000-2008)
2.1.1 Financial Aid Initiative,
2.1.2 New Student Reading Project,
2.1.3 Joan and Sanford Weill Life Sciences Building,
2.2 University of Wisconsin-Madison (2008-2011)
2.2.1 Madison Initiative for Undergraduates,
2.2.2 Go Big Read!,
2.2.3 Graduate reform,
2.2.4 New Badger Partnership,
5 External links,
Early life and career:
Martin grew up in Timberlake, Virginia, just outside of Lynchburg. The women in her family shared the name Carolyn, earning nicknames "Buck" (grandmother), "Boolie" (mother), and "Biddy" for Martin. She graduated from Brookville High School in 1969, where she was valedictorian and set the school scoring record for girls' basketball. She received her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary in 1973, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She earned an M.A. in German Literature from Middlebury College's program in Mainz, Germany and received her Ph.D. in German Literature in 1983 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Summa Cum Laude), and joined the faculty at Cornell the same year.
In 1991, she was promoted to associate professor in the Department of German Studies with a joint appointment in the Women's Studies Program. She served as chair of the Department of German Studies from 1994 to 1997, and in 1997 was promoted to full Professor. In 1996, she was appointed Senior Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, a position she held until 2000. Between 2000 and 2008, she assumed the role as Cornell's Provost. She served as Chancellor of UW-Madison from 2008 to 2011.
Martin is the author of numerous articles and two books--one on a literary and cultural figure in the Freud circle, Lou Andreas-Salomé, and the other on gender theory.
During her tenure as provost, Martin led a faculty salary-improvement program, oversaw Cornell's interdisciplinary Life Sciences Initiative, authorized a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant proposal to enhance recruitment and retention of women in science and engineering and established and developed a budget for Cornell's Center for a Sustainable Future.
Financial Aid Initiative:
In 2008, Martin announced a financial aid initiative aimed at eliminating need-based loans for all undergraduate students from families with incomes under $75,000. The purpose of the initiative was to make it possible for new students to graduate debt-free.
New Student Reading Project:
Martin started a reading project for incoming students, recruiting more than 200 faculty volunteers to lead small-group discussions with new students. The project has become a collaborative activity with the city of Ithaca.
Joan and Sanford Weill Life Sciences Building:
Martin oversaw the $150 million creation of the Joan and Sanford Weill Life Sciences Building, a 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m) building that serves as the university's hub for life sciences and interdisciplinary collaborations. It is home to the Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology and the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
University of Wisconsin-Madison (2008-2011):
As chancellor, Martin led successful initiatives to increase need-based financial aid, improve undergraduate education, and enhance research administration. The Madison Initiative for Undergraduates promoted student advising, innovations in undergraduate programs, and faculty diversity. Martin also spearheaded an effort to gain greater operating flexibility and increased autonomy for Wisconsin's flagship campus. Martin advocated for diversity during her tenure. At the 2008 Diversity Forum, she closed the event stating, "We are a plural people whose joint efforts are required to address the world's problems... Interactions are key to realizing our full potential as human beings and groups."
Madison Initiative for Undergraduates:
Martin's first major policy initiative as Chancellor was the implementation of an incremental four-year tuition increase plan called the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates. This plan pays for more undergraduate course offerings, additional faculty and staff to teach those courses, enhanced student services, and supplemental (and eventually complete) financial assistance for students whose families make under $80,000 a year. The plan was approved by the Board of Regents on May 8, 2009.
Go Big Read!:
Martin has also created the university's first Common Read program, known as Go Big Read!, which began in Fall 2009. The inaugural selected title was In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, by Michael Pollan. For Fall 2010, the announced selection was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
In mid-2009, Martin and Provost Paul DeLuca announced plans for a reorganization of the university's graduate and research initiatives. Their proposal called for separation of the roles of Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, which are currently held by the same person. This proposal came in the wake of several compliance violations that placed the university at risk for losing critical research funding and accreditation. This proposal faced resistance from faculty who believed that these violations were confined to only a few units and that the proposed restructuring would be too costly and unnecessary for preventing future violations. On May 3, 2010, Faculty Senate leadership approved a compromise plan which kept the Graduate and Research missions of the University unified in one leadership position under the new working title of Vice Chancellor for Research.
New Badger Partnership:
In 2010, Martin initiated a series of public fora concerning what she describes as a "new business model for UW-Madison." This proposal, called the "New Badger Partnership," intends to safeguard the university finance and help mend the state's fiscal gaps. As part of this proposal, Martin called for "greater flexibility for the university, combined with reasonable forms of accountability and more effective operations" which "can strengthen the university's position and its ability to serve the state." Among its early stated aims were the ability to set market-based tuition, provide more financial aid and compensate faculty separately from pay plans for other state agencies. These talks provided the basis for Martin's agreement with Gov. Scott Walker in March 2011 to separate UW-Madison from the rest of the University of Wisconsin System, and give it the status of a public authority reporting to its own Board of Trustees, a distinction already held by the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. The proposal received staunch opposition from the University of Wisconsin Regents, who claimed that they were not properly appraised of any negotiations between Martin and Walker, and the Chancellors of other UW System schools, who felt that the departure of UW-Madison from the system would diminish and permanently damage the System. As such the public authority proposal generated little support in the state legislature, with many Republican legislators objecting to the focus on Madison and several local Democratic legislators fearing the New Badger Partnership would lead to privatization of the university. Despite the vocal support of many UW-Madison administrators and alumni, this led the public authority model to receive little political backing. Moreover, the political atmosphere surrounding the debate over UW-Madison had been severely strained by the Wisconsin legislature and Gov. Walker's decision regarding public employees of collective bargaining rights, thus providing very little political room for a change of this scale. Ultimately, the legislature agreed to a series of fiscal and administrative reforms that would apply to the entire UW System, which Martin described as "a promising first step."
Woman and Modernity: The (Life)Styles of Lou Andreas-Salomé, Cornell University Press, 1991.,
Femininity Played Straight: The Significance of Being Lesbian, Routledge Press, 1996.,
"Sexualities without Genders and Other Queer Utopias", Diacritics, vol. 24, no. 2/3, Critical Crossings (Summer - Autumn, 1994), pp. 104-121.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license