Gallaudet Gets Next President from NTID

October 19, 2009

Gallaudet University named T. Alan Hurwitz as its next president on Sunday. Hurwitz has spent most of his professional career at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, where he started teaching engineering in 1970 and rose through the ranks to become president. NTID is part of the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Hurwitz also serves as an RIT vice president. Not only does Hurwitz have extensive experience in deaf education, but he is deaf -- which is seen as important by many students, professors and alumni. Hurwitz will follow Robert Davila, who also preceded him at NTID and who was named to a lengthy interim presidency at Gallaudet in 2007. That appointment followed a presidential search that divided the campus and the deaf community, when Gallaudet's board in 2006 named Jane K. Fernandes, then the provost, to become president. But after months of protests, which at times effectively shut down the institution, the board withdrew its offer. Davila's leadership is generally credited with calming the campus, as well as addressing key issues, such as an accreditor's complaints that were resolved last year.

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